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Sri Lanka eyes 4.4 lakh tourists from India in 2018: Official

Sri Lanka eyes 4.4 lakh tourists from India in 2018: Official

New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) Bouyed by growing number of tourists from India, Sri Lanka has now kept a target of 4.4 lakh travellers from the country this year, officials today said.

Describing itself as a destination for all seasons, officials of the Sri Lanka Tourism, at a press conference here, also announced that a record 3,84,628 tourists arrived from India last year.

"Understanding the unique offerings for Indian travellers, destination Sri Lanka now targets for 4,40,000 Indian arrivals, this year," the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau said in a statement.

The Sri Lanka Tourism has recently been awarded as the Emerging Destination of the Year by Conde Nast Traveller India and Asias leading Adventure Tourism Destination of the Year in 2017, it said.

A survey conducted by the Sri Lanka Tourism, highlights that, 63.7 per cent of Indians opt for sightseeing excursions and nearly 50 per cent go for shopping.

"37.01 per cent Indian travellers visit the historical sites in Sri Lanka, while wildlife remains the choice for 21 per cent only," it said.

Witnessing the growth and potential from India, the Sri Lanka Tourism will be participating at the SATTE 2018 (South Asias travel and tourism exhibition), with 52 travel agents and hoteliers.

"While the pristine beaches and cultural aspect of Sri Lanka, is already being explored by Indian guests, however, key area of focus for this years participation would be to promote film tourism, destination wedding, religious and pilgrimage tourism (Ramayana Trail).

"A tea bar representing Ceylon Tea will be located at the Sri Lanka pavilion 2018 at the SATTE," the statement said.

Sutheash Balasubramaniam, managing director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, said, "India continues to be our top source market."

"We believe that the potential of the Indian travel market is yet to realise in terms of attracting longer stay and higher spending travellers. It is our fervent hope to make Sri Lanka the most preferred destination in Asia for Indian travellers," he said.

Sri Lanka, an island nation, is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, and is renowned for the ancient Sigiriya Rock Fortress, and its rich colonial legacy. PTI KND KJ