The influential global travel magazine TTG, aka Travel Trade Gazette, has profiled Sri Lanka in an across-the-board review that cites luxury boutique hotels as a major driver of tourism.
TTG Mena quotes Aman Resorts—Sri Lanka sales manager Harshana De Alwis as saying: “A shift from large corporate hotels to small luxury boutique resorts is a rapidly growing trend in tourism in Sri Lanka.”
He adds that with a target of attracting two and a half million tourists by 2016, “tourism now plays a major role in Sri Lanka’s economic growth and development”.
So-called ‘experiential travel’ is also on the hotlist. TTG quotes a tour manager: “A traveller may like to observe blue whales from the air, or see a city through the eyes of a resident historian or take up a master class with locally renowned chefs.
“We’re proud to say that as a developing nation cut off from mainstream tourism for some three decades, we understand these requirements and are geared to deliver.”
Also topping the bill is sustainable ecotourism. TTG quotes another tour spokesman: “The trend of responsible and sustainable tourism is growing and is driven by Generation X and Y, and more recently the Millennials, and this in turn has had an interesting impact on experiential suppliers and accommodation suppliers alike.
“These travellers would rather walk beside an elephant than ride one; they want to give back to communities less developed in more meaningful ways and they want to stay connected and see those communities grow.
“They are certainly more carbon footprint and wellness conscious and we see many new and existing properties and experiences responding to these new demands.”