Sri Lanka ranked number one must visit destination for 2019 by Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel guide
The UK’s top-tier Guardian newspaper hails Lonely Planet as ranking Sri Lanka as the number one must-visit tourist destination for 2019.
LP’s Best in Travel lists the top 10 countries, cities and regions alongside other travel experiences for the year ahead.
The Guardian notes that “better transport links, new hotels and a growing number of activities were cited as the reason the south-Asian island was chosen for the top spot”.
Says Lonely Planet author Ethan Gelber: “Already notable to intrepid travellers for its mix of religions and cultures, its timeless temples, its rich and accessible wildlife, its growing surf scene and its people who defy all odds by their welcome and friendliness.”
Tourist visits to Sri Lanka have increased from 447,890 in 2009 to an all time high of 2.1 million last year.
Lonely Planet cites wildlife, such as the 300-strong elephant gathering at Minneriya national park, thousand-year old Buddhist monuments, and hiking and train travel through the Hill Country’s tea plantations.
There has also been a huge investment in new visitor accommodation: from homestays to high-end eco retreats – such as the Wild Coast Lodge’s cocoon-like buildings in Yala national park.
Tour operators are now offering jungle hiking, alongside yoga breaks with traditional Ayurveda treatments.
There are also plenty of free attractions, including colourful puja rituals on the clifftop of Koneswaram Kovil in Trincomalee in the north east; Colombo’s main market of Pettah; and the fortified walls surrounding the colonial old town of Galle in the south.
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