The Daily News reports that tourism has seen a 15% increase over last year, which Tourism Minister John Amaratunge attributes to “participating in 46 trade fairs, road shows and all the major travel fairs in the world”.
The paper notes that “as at end of September over 1.5 million tourists have arrived in the country, which is a 15 % increase year on year and the ministry targets 2.2 million by the year end”.
The minister said that tourism has brought in US$2.5 billion to date, and that the government is targeting revenue of US$3.5billion by the end of 2016.
Meanwhile, the ministry will be hosting “a very important conference next month in Colombo” in which where over 500 French tour agents will participate (read our story here).
Amaratunge added that “the country can expect is three most lucrative months in terms of tourist arrivals because the season starts mid October”.
He said that the government targets 45,000 rooms ready for tourism by end of next year, and that his ministry is “making all efforts to train youth to service the increase of rooms”.
Daily Mail UK
The story was picked up by the Daily Mail in the UK, which says that “tourists have long been attracted to Sri Lanka for its golden beaches, cultural sites and picturesque tea estates. Most have historically come from Western Europe, but the minister said the number of Chinese holidaymakers had doubled last year to 224,000”.