Hospitality.lk reports new rules for tourism businesses, which will be part of measures that will likely greatly improve the experience for Sri Lanka’s booming visitor numbers.

The new regulations cover minimum space, capacities and facilities for tourist hotels classified from 1 to 5 star, licence fees and registration.

The tourism ministry is also drafting guidelines for tourist guest houses, independent tourist restaurants, tourist shops, ayurvedic tourist hotels, resorts and health care centres, and spas, wellness centres and apartment hotels.

Read the full report here.

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Tourist arrivals top 2 million in 2016

The Daily News reports that Sri Lanka passed the much awaited 2 million tourist arrivals mark by December 31—2,050,832, a 14.0% year on year increase.

The 2015 year end arrivals were 1,798,380. The country saw the highest number of arrivals in December where there were 224,791 which was a 9.1% increase against the previous year. Top arrival destinations were from India China and Europe.

The number of tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka increased by 16.0 percent year-on-year to 167,217 in November of 2016, following a 13.7 percent rise in the previous month.

Read the full report here.

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Over 270,000 Chinese tourists in 2016

China daily Xinhua reports that over 270,000 Chinese tourists arrived in Sri Lanka in 2016—up 26.4 percent, the strongest growth of any country compared to last year.

In 2015, 214,783 Chinese tourists arrived in Sri Lanka, making China the second largest country with the most number of tourist arrivals.

India remains the largest market with the most number of tourist arrivals, a 12.8 percent growth, with 356,729 in 2016 compared with over 300,000 in 2015.

Read the full report here.

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Our famed Ceylon tea reaches 150-year milestone

News.lk reports that the Sri Lankan tea industry, which began commercial cultivation in 1867, will celebrate its 150th Anniversary in 2017.

A Scotsman named James Taylor is reputed to have developed the first commercial plantation and commenced the manufacture of Tea on Loolcondera Estate, Hewaheta.

Sri Lanka Tea Board, in collaboration with the Colombo Tea Traders’ Association, is organizing a number of celebratory events to coincide with this Sesquicentennial Anniversary, throughout the year 2017.

Read the full report here.

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First passage to India for 32 years

The Asian Mirror reports that a ferryboat has made the first passage to India from north Sri Lanka for 32 years after a request by Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray.

This service was made available for ten days from January 2–12 for pilgrims participating in a Hindu religious festival in South India.

The Sri Lanka Navy and the Ministry of Defense both approved the governor’s official request.

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