Sri Lankan tourism team begins its roadshow in Chennai

Sri Lanka government ensuring hassle-free travel for tourists from India, says Tourism Minister Harin Fernando; tentative date for ferry service between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka has been fixed as May 2

Published - April 24, 2023 10:32 pm IST - CHENNAI

 

Sri Lanka’s Minister for Tourism Harin Fernando on Monday said the country wanted tourists to fall in love with Sri Lanka and not keep it as part of their bucket list. “We want them to come back to our country,” he said.

Addressing presspersons during a roadshow in the city, he said the country had been witnessing an increase in tourist arrivals. In 2023 from January to March, they were witnessing 8,000 tourist arrivals a day, which was the highest since 2018. He said Sri Lankan government was ensuring that travelling was made easy for Indians. “Visa fee is the lowest for Indians. We speak Tamil, our second language is Tamil. We all have some connection with the Hindu religion. We have a very well laid-out Ramayana circuit,” Mr. Fernando said.

About the proposed ferry service between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, he said that the date was tentatively fixed for May 2, but the nitty-gritties were still being worked out.

Thisum Jayasuriya, Chairman, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau, said big corporates from India had been holding their conferences in Sri Lanka. “We are booking as a tourism destination, especially for MICE. The northern parts of Sri Lanka, which are a major attraction for many Indians, especially south Indians, are being opened for tourism,” he said.  

Chalaka Gajabahu, Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, said that Sri Lanka offered a complete destination for families and was a year-long destination. Sri Lanka was meeting the travel industry here in India to further establish the country as a go-to destination.  

The team has embarked on the roadshow to emphasise that things had improved in Sri Lanka.

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