"I will introduce an accelerated
development programme for the tourism
industry. I will launch a programme to
fulfil the infrastructure and other
requirements in order to attract 2.5 million
tourists annually, by the year 2016"
- ‘Mahinda Chintana’: Vision for the
In keeping with this pledge, the
Government has done much in the past five
years to boost the tourism industry. The
Government identified tourism as a fast
emerging potential growth sector in the
economy in terms of foreign exchange
earnings, employment creation,
infrastructure development and regional
Sri Lanka is now fast becoming one of the
most popular tourist destinations in the
Sri Lanka ranking
Sri Lanka has been ranked as the number
one tourist destination by the 'New
York Times' in its list of "31
Places to Go in 2010".
"The conflict finally ended last May,
ushering in a more peaceful era for this
teardrop-shaped island off India’s coast,
rich in natural beauty and cultural
splendours," states the New York Times on
NY Times has also hailed tourist
locations in the North and East as
attractive tourist areas with stylish
resorts, boutique hotels and guest houses to
cater to the needs of tourists.
Just days after 'The New York Times'
chose Sri Lanka as the world’s No. 1 place
to go in 2010, a leading lifestyle web
resource, Daily Candy, weighed
in with a similarly enthusiastic travel
recommendation, praising Sri Lanka as “the
best place” that the Daily Candy writers had
The National Geographic Adventure
too ranked Sri Lanka as the Second Best New
Trips for 2010, accrediting the country as
the "Wonder of the World."
CNN Go in a report published on
September 1 stated that Sri Lanka is a
terrific spot for those in search of some
sub-continental wildlife, cuisine and a
welcoming culture with the end to 25 years
of conflict and the devastating tsunami.
The German-language Yahoo! Travel
Magazine also stated that Sri Lanka is
among the top 10 most affordable
destinations in the world.
The UK's Independent newspaper in
a report published on October 19 stated that
post-conflict Sri Lanka is preparing for a
rapid growth in tourism numbers over the
coming five years as the local industry gets
back on its feet - and international
visitors once again have faith in the
security situation in the island nation.
veteran Hollywood film location scout who
recently spent two weeks touring Sri Lanka
said the country will remain a top location
for film makers.
'The extent of its future success largely
depends on promotion and ease of production
in Sri Lanka,' stated former Warner Bros.
worldwide locations executive Bill Bowling.
The end of a nearly 30 year war against
terrorism and the restoration of peace has
made Sri Lanka a much sought-after tourist
Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka increased
by 48.4% during the first half of 2010
(January-June), with a total of 278,652
arrivals to the country in comparison to
187,729 arrivals during the same period last
Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals jumped by
24.6 percent in September also compared to a
year earlier, boosted by the end of the war
against terrorism. In August, arrivals rose
35.7% compared to the same period last year.
% Cha. 2009/10
Up to Oct
Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority)
The U.S. State
Department on 26 May lifted its travel
advisory on Sri Lanka, citing the peaceful
atmosphere that has taken hold a year after
Sri Lanka’s defeat of terrorism.
Travel Warning issued for Sri Lanka on
November 19, 2009 has been cancelled,
effective May 26, 2010,” the State
Department said in an announcement.
“Department of State has cancelled the
Travel Warning for Sri Lanka due to
improvements in safety and security
conditions throughout the country,” the
announcement further stated.
The United Kingdom lifted all travel
restrictions to Sri Lanka on 29 July
subsequent to the British High Commissioner
to Sri Lanka, Dr. Peter Hayes's official
tour to Mannar district.
The Government of Japan too relaxed the
Travel Advice & Warning with regard to the
Northern Province, based upon the
information provided by the Embassy of Japan
in Sri Lanka.
Germany also has relaxed
travel advisories to German nationals
visiting Sri Lanka.
The German Embassy said that a long standing
travel advisory had been eased enabling
German tourists to visit Yala National Park
and Arugam Bay.
"The Island of Sri Lanka is a small
universe; it contains as many
variations of culture, scenery, and
climate as some countries a dozen
times its size . . . I find it hard
to believe that there is any country
which scores so highly in all
departments - which has so many
advantages and so few disadvantages.
Lovely beaches, beautiful
landscapes, impressive ruins, a
vibrant culture and charming
Arthur C Clarke
Sri Lanka to
promote nature tourism
Lanka Tourism announced a new campaign at
the World Travel Market 2010 in London which
focus on eight key products, with wildlife
to be heavily promoted for the first time.
The first seven promote Sri Lanka's
heritage, beaches, sports and adventure,
wellness, scenery, friendly people and
This year Sri Lanka
Tourism celebrated World Tourism Day (WTD)
under the theme “Tourism and Biodiversity”.
The theme provided a unique opportunity to
raise public awareness of the importance of
biodiversity to tourism and the role of
sustainable tourism in the conservation of
The theme ‘Tourism and Biodiversity’ is
particularly pertinent in 2010 as the United
Nations General Assembly, concerned by the
continued loss of biological diversity,
declared 2010 the International Year of
Biodiversity. The year coincides with the
target adopted by governments in 2002, to
achieve a significant reduction in the rate
of biodiversity loss by 2010.
Kalpitiya Tourist Resort project aims to
develop Kalpitiya and its environs as a
Tourism Zone. The Dutch Bay, Portugal Bay
and the more attractive Islands such as
Karaitivu, Ippantivu and Periyarachchi with
a total land extent of 4,132 acres will be
developed under the proposed project.
Development in Eastern Province
After nearly three decades of oppression
due to LTTE terrorism, the Eastern Province
was liberated with the Mavil-Aru
humanitarian operation, bringing new hope
for lasting peace and prosperity to the
The Eastern Province is endowed with a
420 km coastline world renowned for its wide
sandy beaches and warm shallow sea water.
Kokilai to Arugam Bay coastline is famous
for its scenic beauty and has long been
established for surfing, the world's 13th
best surfing location.
Pottuvil offers what has been described
as “every surfer's dream of a tropical
wave”. Nilaweli is another famous place for
water sports enthusiasts and Pasikudah
offers wide sandy beaches while Kalkudah is
identified as excellent tourist destination.
The Government is developing a Picnic
Area in Nilaveli and Pasikudah at a cost of
Rs.3 million. A museum has been constructed
in Seruwawila at a cost of Rs.8 million and
China Bay Airport Terminal is also being
constructed at a cost of Rs.1 million.
the Trincomalee district, an area of
approximately 500 acres has been identified
for tourism development purposes. The
village of Kuchchaveli, situated in the
North of the popular Nilaveli beach.
Sri Lanka" (Discover Sri Lanka) initiative
was launched in September 2008 as a means of
promoting domestic tourism by creating
awareness for lesser known attractions and
Cultural Show in
To promote Sri Lankan culture among tourists
Sri Lanka Tourism is having a cultural show
on every Friday at the Auditorium of Hotel
School from 5.30 p.m to 06.30 p.m.
year 2011 is declared as "Visit Sri Lanka
Year". The launch of this new campaign comes
when the entire island is open for tourists,
to discover and enjoy the marvels of
history, diversities of culture, and
friendship and tolerance of Sri Lankan
people. This new direction of Sri Lanka
tourism will position Sri Lanka as a premier
tourist destination of Asia and the world.