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Monday, March 28, 2011 - 06.46 GMT

SL a coveted tourist spot - TOI

 

With the end of the conflict in Sri Lanka, more Indian tourists are visiting Colombo. Tamils in the city too are flocking there to explore its scenic locales. Sri Lanka is fast becoming a preferred destination for residents as it is just next door and is easy on the pocket, states the Times of India in a report published on 26th March.

Although, during the tourist season the food and lodging is more expensive, many people choose vacation there, quoting Indian travel operators Times of India stated.

"We had made over 200 bookings to Sri Lanka last year. During the conflict years we hardly made 20 bookings annually," said Mahaveer Jain, Indian tour operator.

According to Mahaveer Jain, the availability of inexpensive travel packages and air fare (average estimated cost is Rs 4500) are the main factors in favour of Sri Lanka as a tourist destination.

The average cost of Sri Lankan tour packages spanning two nights and three days is between Rs 13,000 and Rs 15,000.

However, travellers from Coimbatore have to drive down to Trichy or Chennai, as there is no direct flight from the city to Colombo. "The rates are almost the same when compared to visiting Indian tourist spots and thus several middle class travellers are now opting for Sri Lanka," said Basheer Ahemed, office bearer, Travel Agents Federation of India.

The favoured tourist destinations in Sri Lanka include Colombo and Kandy. The stupas in Anuradhapura and areas where Buddhist civilisation was prevalent are popular tourist spots. The sacred mountain peak called Adam's peak, located in Central Sri Lanka, believed to bear the foot print of Lord Buddha himself, is also a major pilgrimage and tourist spot in Sri Lanka.

"However, most of the hotels have increased their rates and package rates have also gone up. The low cost is one of the main factors attracting people to opt for Sri Lanka," said V Kumar, senior manager, Starline Travels.



 



 

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