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News digest: booming tourism in Sri Lanka prompts special new zones

News digest: booming tourism in Sri Lanka prompts special new zones

Tourism-Review.com reports that Sri Lanka is to create at least five and up to eight ‘Themed International Tourism and Family Entertainment Zones’, selected for their natural beauty.

Among them are beaches, mountains and forest regions, and the first zone is already under initial construction – the Lanka Patuna, an area of over 450 acres of beautiful beach land. The booming tourism in Sri Lanka means further development of local companies.

According to the tourism analytics firm ForwardKeys, international air arrivals have increased by 11.8%, the main source countries being India, the UK, Germany and China. The inflow from Europe (+14.6%) and East Asia (+11.7%) has been on a significant rise.

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100 years of volleyball, our national game

The Sunday Times reports on the ceremony to celebrate 100 years of volleyball, which was declared Sri Lanka’s national sport in 1992. The Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation (SLVF) was inaugurated in 1951.

The celebration ceremony included the announcement that the SLVF is making arrangements to launch a Rs10 stamp, and that a statue of a volleyball player in action is to be displayed at the Colombo Museum.

Meanwhile, a book titled ‘Hundred Years of Sri Lanka Volleyball’ written by Susil Ranasinghe, is to be published in English, Sinhalese and Tamil, while a volleyball will be taken around the island to obtain 1 million signatures of volleyball fans.

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China’s First Tourist: President Xi Jinping is changing the travel industry

CNN reports that after President Xi Jinping visited Sri Lanka—a ‘splendid pearl’—in 2014, package tours to the country from China during the October 1st National Day holiday were quickly booked to capacity.

The story illustrates the growing importance of Chinese tourism, not only in Sri Lanka but around the world, as an increasing number of its citizens seek out new experiences.

The report says: “As China’s president during a time of unprecedented growth and change, Xi Jinping has guided a number of transformational initiatives. But few industries have felt his influence so profoundly as China’s exploding domestic tourism sector.”

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Chinese tourists take the world by storm

Talking of Chinese tourists, tnooz reports that describing a typical Chinese traveller ten years ago would have taken less than five minutes. It takes a lot longer to answer the same question today.

More disposable income and a curiosity to explore the outside world have given rise to the huge surge in Chinese travellers we’ve seen in the past decade.

Their sheer volume makes them a force to be reckoned with, and I believe the world – whether through more welcoming visa policies or through Chinese-speaking retail assistants – has made leaps and bounds in recalibrating itself accordingly.

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Sri Lanka kicks off underground campaign in London

Meanwhile, our official tourism website Sri Lanka Travel reports that Sri Lanka Tourism has launched a massive marketing campaign in London’s underground train stations.

As the key institution in Sri Lanka to promote Sri Lanka worldwide, Sri Lanka Tourism is carrying various tourism promotional activities to promote Sri Lanka as a high-end tourist destination.

At the moment, it has taken a new step of promoting underground advertising campaigns in order to create consumer awareness amongst the travel community on Sri Lankan tourism products, and about the country itself.

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