Sri Lanka Aims to Get 10 Lakh Tourists This Year, Especially from India, Says Tourism Minister Harin Fernando


Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister Harin Fernando on Saturday stated as issues get again to regular after the latest political disaster within the island nation, the federal government goals to obtain a minimum of 10 lakh vacationers this yr, principally from India. Fernando, who was in Ahmedabad to advertise tourism within the island nation, stated non secular and cultural tourism between Sri Lanka and India “will make plenty of sense”. “There are plenty of commonalities we are able to discover with India, and we predict the following yr might be principally devoted to India,” Fernando informed reporters. Sri Lanka has already logged 5 lakh vacationers for the present yr, and hopes to finish the yr with 10 lakh vacationers, principally from India, the minister stated.

He additional stated 2018 was the very best for the nation when round 23 lakh vacationers visited and generated a income of $4-5 billion for the nation, he stated. “We’ve $900 million coming from the tourism sector (up to now this yr), and are hoping that by the tip of the yr we’d attain about $2 billion,” Fernando stated.

The nation hopes to finish this yr with 10 lakh vacationers and the following yr with 15-20 lakh vacationers, he stated. “Until now (this yr), we’ve had 75,000 Indian vacationers coming to Sri Lanka, adopted by the UK (65,000). The primary two-three months had been good, after which we had a really uninteresting interval between April-June (because of political turmoil),” the minister stated.

Issues have once more began to select up and at present, the nation has been receiving near 2,000 vacationers per day (as in opposition to the height of seven,000 per day), he stated. “Sri Lanka, some would say, is a kind of India, we’re part of India…We’re the pearl of the Indian Ocean, the worth of Sri Lanka could be for Indians and we have to work that out with Indians,” Fernando stated.

The island nation is making an attempt to work with just a few ashrams in India to advertise such tourism, he added. “We are attempting to herald a giant crowd without delay about 2,000 pilgrims to Jaffna airport, and from there beginning by street. We’re taking a look at exploring these new avenues. We even have plenty of wellness, yoga, meditation and Ayurvedic medicines. There are plenty of values that India and Sri Lanka share,” the minister stated.

Sri Lanka appears to India as its large brother who has all the time been supportive. “We thank the Narendra Modi authorities, particularly at this level the place Sri Lanka had troublesome instances within the final couple of months,” the minister stated.

When it comes to forex change additionally Sri Lanka gives a greater worth for cash, with one Indian rupee being equal to 4 Sri Lankan rupees, he stated. “Indians may have a greater worth for cash whereas touring Sri Lanka somewhat than Indian locations at this second. Sri Lanka has much more to supply,” he stated.

Sadly, travellers from Gujarat look extra to Far East international locations reminiscent of Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand as their most popular tourism locations, Fernando stated. Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya, who’s the model ambassador for Sri Lanka tourism, stated his countrymen have realised that they should come again to regular life. “Sri Lankans need stability with the brand new authorities. Folks have seen this variation with the gas disaster and gasoline, and we shouldn’t have lengthy queues anymore. That’s what folks want,” Jayasuriya stated.

“We’d like folks to go to Sri Lanka. Tourism is the principle supply of revenue for the nation, which is now protected to journey. The message ought to go which you could journey to Sri Lanka. We’re hospitable folks. We would like folks to journey and go to Sri Lanka,” he stated.

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