Surge in Indian tourist arrivals prompts major Sri Lanka showcase revival

A cornerstone of Hindu belief and culture

A surge in tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka from India has prompted the powers that be to focus on three areas in particular: the Ramayana trail, our pristine beaches, and nature reserves teaming with bio-diversity.

Ramayana, an epic historical story of love, duty, betrayal, sacrifice and the fight for ultimate victory of good over evil, resonates hugely with Indians and Sri Lankans alike.

Sites throughout Sri Lanka are closely connected with the ancient epic poem, which is a cornerstone of Hindu belief and culture that is also hugely influential throughout South-East Asia.

But Sri Lanka’s many other famed destinations are also high on the list of attractions being mooted by holiday, tour and hospitality players as they gear up for an expected significant increase in arrivals from India.

The fight for victory of good over evil

Wildlife showcase

The Statesman in India reports Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (STPB) spokesman Viranga Bandara as saying that “Sri Lanka has a variety of wildlife to showcase to visitors and a number of new destinations have emerged in the eastern part of the country.

“Many new resorts have been built and whale watching is cheaper in the country. It is a diversified land with serene beaches, stunning wildlife adventure, ancient sites of the Ramayana and a smiling populace.”

Preferred destination

With a view to draw a large number of Indian travellers, STPB is planning to go for a digital marketing campaign across cities.

Says Bandara in the Statesman: “We intend to consolidate our campaign and place the country as a preferred holiday destination for Indian tourists. Winter is the best time starting from October to March to explore the country.

“We have hosted tourism road shows in Mumbai and hope to organise similar events in Hyderabad and Chennai this month.

“West Bengal contributes around 22 -30 per cent of Indian outbound tourists to Sri Lanka, and Colombo and Kandy are the hot-selling destinations for tourists from here.”

Colombo and Kandy are the hot-selling destinations

‘The country has emerged as a wonderful family destination’

Sri Lankan Airlines

Sri Lankan Airlines has begun touching down in Kolkata from 30 October last year. It operates thrice-weekly flights on a day-time schedule. The airline is also starting flight services from Hyderabad, Coimbatore and Visakhapatnam this month.

Bandara say: “The airline prides in having a weekly 150 flights from Colombo to Indian cities. We are trying to boost the corporate segment of tourists in Kolkata.

“The country has emerged as a wonderful family destination. There are a few iconic destinations like the Unesco-listed World Heritage Site of Sigiriya.”

There has been a 26 per cent growth in Indian tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka

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