‘Sri Lanka now a safe destination for tourists’

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Minister of Tourism John Amaratunge with Belgium Touring members in Colombo yesterday. Picture by Sudath Malaweera

The Sri Lanka Tourism sector will record about to US$ 4 billion revenue for 2019 and the arrivals of about 2 million tourists, said Minister of Tourism John Amaratunge addressing a media briefing yesterday, October 31.

According to the Minister, it would be dip of around 20% in comparison to last year. Currently the arrival figures are at 1.5 million and tourism revenue is passing the USS 3.5 billion mark. There would be around 400,000 visitors in the next two months.

Kishu Gomes, Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau said they have been actively promoting and inviting global decision makers of the tourism section and the latest was a group representing Belgium.

TUI President, Luc Coussement said that they feel that Sri Lanka now is a safe destination and they will spread this message to the world. “We are also happy with the connectivity with the highways in Sri Lanka and also the opening up of the Jaffna Airport which are steps taken in the right direction. The opening of the Kandy highway would also be beneficial for tourism,” he said.

“Today travel patterns are changing and people are looking for experiences and Sri Lanka is providing that. Sri Lankan Hotels are of high quality and in right size and rates are now not overpriced,” he pointed out.

Managing Director, SLTPB, Chamarie Maelge said that Belgium tourists are high spenders and their average stay is around 13 days and they prefer beach and culture.