With the arrival of Miss Earth Jamie Harrel to Sri Lanka, the country has been ranked number one by Master Card as the 10 fastest growing cities in the world.
The Philippine beauty met Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chief Dr. Rohantha Athukorala in the backdrop of Sri Lanka crossing 714,584 visitors as at end May 2015 with May tourist registering a 26.1% growth over last year.
Sri Lanka's capital city of Colombo was ranked first by Master card traveller with a staggering 21% surge, with Chengdu, the capital of China's Sichuan province following in second, Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates ranked third in terms of growth; which is a big win for Sri Lanka as we launch a 200 million rupee creative development strategy with the selection of the global communication partner which will be backed by a powerful 1 billion rupee media budget and another 200 million investment for digital marketing said Athkorala.
Lima, Peru, is the wold's ninth-fastest growing city, and the fastest growing city in South America. Houston is the fastest growing city in North America since 2009 and is the only city in the United States to register double-digit growth over that period. This accolade motivates us to work harder in unison with the key stakeholders SLITO and THASL who worked very closely in the chalking of the Sri Lanka Tourism master plan for 2016 which focuses on the top 18 markets that can bring in a demand chain of 1.8 million visitor arrivals said Athukorala.
May performance is unique given that we saw the turnaround of Russia with a +23.4% with overall Eastern Europe registering a positive growth of 25.9% to 2,847 visitors whilst the top performance remain at India crossing the one hundred thousand visitors at 119,593 as at end May at a growth of 26.8% whilst China continues to be dominant with a growth of 71.9% in a May and cumulative at 79,098 visitors growing by 80.2%.