The Economic Times of India reports how Bengaluru business leader Sonal Maniar’s fabulous 12-day vacation in Sri Lanka prompted the observation: “Sri Lanka has become a favourite. Its beaches, hills and city-life are a short flight away.”

Another fan, Carun Carumbiah, founder of event management company Next Level, says: “Sri Lanka has an untouched coastline, forests, local cuisine, shopping and night life. Visa-on-arrival is bonus.” Surfing at Arugam Bay and Trincomalee elephant reserve are now on his travel calendar.

Says the Times: “Sri Lanka is the popular new travel destination for Bengalureans. If statistics are anything to go by, the Asian sub-continent is the new Goa (pictured above) for namma travellers.”

It reports travel portal HolidayIQ.com as saying that in 2016, the highest number of holiday bookings for Sri Lanka, from India, came from Bengaluru (14.68%), followed by Mumbai and Delhi.

The report points out that there was a 133% jump in the number of tourists travelling from Bengaluru to Sri Lanka from 2015 to 2016.

It adds: “Proximity, diverse landscapes and strength of the Indian rupee against the Sri Lankan currency appear to have edged Goa out from the Bengaluru traveller’s sights.”

According to Vikram Ahuja, at travel company Byond Travel, there is a 20-30% year-on-year growth in holiday bookings for Sri Lanka since two years.

He says: “A traveller can do whale-watching, adventure sports, explore tea-estates in the mountains of Kandy, visit Unesco sites in Sigiriya, or take local art walks in Colombo,” and predicts that cruises to Sri Lanka will be the next step forward.

Read the report here.

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