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Sri Lanka gears to attract more travelers to the hill capital

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CSE.SAS

CSE.SAS
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Sri Lanka’s tourism promotion authority is planning a series of promotions to boost the popularity of the island’s heritage hill capital Kandy among tourists, a destination already visited by 80 percent of travelers, said deputy minister of economic development.

“We plan to promote the heritage, indigenous products, culture and environmentally important places in Kandy to the world,” said Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, the Deputy Minister of Economic Development.

“Only 30 percent of tourists that visit the country travel to Sigiriya but 80 percent of the tourists travel Kandy.”

The minister was addressing media in Colombo recently at the launch of “Visit Kandy – 2011”, a new program aimed at luring more tourists to the city of Kandy.

Kandy, in the Central Province of the island is one of the most scenic cities in the country with mountains across the city and tropical plantations.

The city is also home to ‘The Temple of the Tooth Relic’, one of the most venerable places for the Buddhist community in Sri Lanka and around the world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESSCO in 1988.

Officials said there are about 3000 to 4000 star category rooms at Kandy city apart from the guest houses and home stay.

As a part of promotions authorities will hold a three day exhibition starting on from 10th November at Kandy City Centre with the participation of more than 75 leading hotels, restaurants and other tourism-related institutions.

The Tourism Promotional and Trade Exhibition in Kandy is organized by Sri Lanka Tourism, along with the Ministry of Economic Development, Central Province Chief Ministry and Ministry of Tourism, the regional economic development agency and other Government institutions.

Potential arrivals

Minister Abeywardena also added the country might exceed target of 750,000 tourist arrivals for this year.

“We hope tourist arrival will surpass the set target that we have for this year with arrival trend seen so far.”

Tourist arrivals in the month of September this year has risen 27.1 percent to 60,219 from a year earlier, helped by surging arrivals from India and China, though British visitors fell, official data showed.

Total number of the annual tourist turnout had surpassed 598,000 by September 2011.

“We started direct flights with Russia recently. A team arrived from Russia to see our country and said that they hope to bring more tourists here in coming years,” the minister said.

“Also Vietnam is keen on developing tourism between two countries with the visit of Vietnam’s President to Sri Lanka. “

“China has become one of the most spending countries and has a Buddhist culture too. That will help to bring more tourists to the country” minister Yapa said.

http://www.lbr.lk/fullstory.php?nid=201110252228595960

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