Sri Lanka Tourism expects to increase tourist arrivals by 2.5 million in 2016. In 2011, tourist arrivals increased by 30 percent. During the past six months that number increased by eight percent, Sri Lanka Tourism lecturer Upali Rathnayake said.
This was revealed at the media workshop on tourism at the Colombo University Economic Department on June 24. The programme was held under the patronage of Colombo University Vice Chancellor Prof Kanishka Hirimburegama.
Sri Lankan Airlines official Buddhika Hewawasam said, around 127,000 tourists arrived in the country last year from India while 20,000 tourists came from China.
“Community based tourism is important to develop this sector. People in the country need to think that tourists are also a part of the country’s economy. It will be a new development point of view,” Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman Bhaswara Senanka Gunarathna said.
Colombo University Economic Department lecturer and coordinator Dr Suranga Silva said: “every part of the country is connected with tourism. With the development of tourism all other industries can also develop.”
Tourism in the Northern and Eastern parts of the country can be developed as well, he said.
Ven Prof Vijithapura Wimalarathana Thera, Prof Sarath Kotagama, Sri Lanka Tourists Hotel Owners Association’s Chairman Anura Lokuhetti, Government Additional Information Director Chandrapala Liyanage and Prof Kamal Waleboda addressed the workshop. Media coordinators were Sham Nuwan Ganewattha and Patum Wickramarathna.
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