InDepthNews carries a piece in which former Sri Lankan UN ambassador Dr Palitha Kohona notes that “for Sri Lanka, the ocean is of critical import”.

“Tourism is fast becoming a preeminent source of foreign exchange earnings for the country and the availability of hundreds of miles of largely unpolluted sandy beaches, warm seas, a myriad water sports and leisure activities, etc are a magnet for leisure seeking visitors.

“With visitor numbers exceeding two million in 2016, the potential of this sector for further expansion is enormous. Naturally, the health of the ocean around us, especially the impacts of climate change, becomes a critical for this growing and potentially lucrative industry.”

Read the report here.

Tourist arrivals up as airport reopens reports that tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka are up 17.5 percent after our international airport reopened following work to upgrade the main runway.

“Jetwing Group Chairman Hiran Cooray noted that good weather, combined with tourists who may have delayed their holidays in Sri Lanka due to the partial airport closure, may have contributed to the high growth.”

The report notes that “arrivals from Western Europe, the country’s main regional market, grew 40.9 percent YOY to 55,304 fuelling the strong growth for the month. Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operations Chairman Devindra Senaratne told Mirror Business that the Easter effect may be one of the reasons for the increase”.

Read the report here.

Merit garbage bins at the mountain of Buddha

Campaign Brief Asia notes that “Sri Pada, the mountain of Buddha, is uniquely sacred to a deeply spiritual Buddhist majority in Sri Lanka. However this stirring ceremony … brings with it the unholiest of sights—garbage”.

It reports that advertising agency Leo Burnett Sri Lanka has created a solution for “turning garbage disposal into a meritorious act in the pilgrim’s journey towards enlightenment”.

The result is ‘merit bins’ inspired by traditional temple tills, art and parables “informed by the Sri Lankan desire to earn spiritual merits in order to be assured of a more favourable rebirth”.

Read the report here.

Hugo Boss opens luxury store in Sri Lanka

Asia One reports that Hugo Boss has opened its first store in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, located in Arcade Independence Square, “a beautifully restored British colonial building constructed in 1889”.

Steven Lam, managing director at Hugo Boss Southeast Asia, says that international tourists will be a prime target for the mix of luxury goods the store will feature.

“Tourism grows by 30 per cent year on year and Sri Lanka is probably one of the fastest growing tourist markets in Asia right now”, he said.

Read the report here.

Waterproof denim jeans launched in Sri Lanka

Lanka Business Online reports that “firebrand jeans retailer Long Island Clothing Company (LiCC) has launched a trail-blazing brand of waterproof jeans”.

It says: “Wearing wet clothes is always a drag, but wearing wet jeans can be even more so due to the weight. Chances are you might be caught in a sporadic thunderstorm which will eventually soak through.”

It quotes the company as saying: “It is not merely the bikers who will benefit from this fabulous brand but each person who has felt the discomfort of being soaked to the bone in a pair of wet jeans.”

Read the report here.

Mine-detector dog Zira returns to US after six-years in Sri Lanka

ColomboPage reports that mine-detecting German shepherd, Zira-Yankee “bade farewell to Sri Lanka after six years of distinguished service in the Sri Lanka Army having cleared over 62,680 square meters of heavily mine-infested land area in the war-affected North”.

Sri Lanka Engineers (SLE) of the Army on 30th April bade adieu to Zira-Yankee during a fond farewell on the eve of the dog’s departure back to the United States.

During a formal meeting at Chief Field Engineer’s Headquarters at Mattegoda, Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe, Colonel Commandant, SLE officially handed over Zira-Yankee to Kimberly McCasland of the US-based Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI).

Read the report here.

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