Boost­ing Tourism

Southasia - - Briefing -

The Min­istry of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment in Sri Lanka launched a 5-year plan last month for im­prov­ing tourism in the coun­try, set­ting an am­bi­tious tar­get of at­tract­ing 2.5 mil­lion tourists by 2016.

The key ob­jec­tives of the strat­egy are to in­crease tour- ist ar­rivals from 650,000 in 2010 to 2.5 mil­lion an­nu­ally and at­tract USD 3,000 mil­lion in for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment by the year 2016.

Other ob­jec­tives of the plan in­clude pro­vid­ing 500,000 tourism re­lated jobs to the coun­try and in­crease for­eign ex­change earn­ings to USD 2.75 bil­lion.

Ac­cord­ing to the plan set forth, these goals will be achieved by cre­at­ing an environment con­ducive for tourism, at­tract­ing the right type of tourist to the coun­try and en­sur­ing that de­part­ing tourists leave happy.

Ad­di­tion­ally, there will be a fo­cus on im­prov­ing do­mes­tic tourism which ac­cord­ing to Dr. Nalaka Go­da­hewa, Chair­man, Sri Lanka Tourism was one of the key fac­tors that sus­tained the coun­tries tourist in­dus­try through­out the more dif­fi­cult pe­ri­ods, while the fi­nal com­po­nent of the strat­egy is con­cerned with im­prov­ing Sri Lanka’s im­age on the in­ter­na­tional stage.

Sri Lanka wants to push its beaches, tea-grow­ing moun­tains, her­itage sites and wildlife parks to woo high­spend­ing for­eign hol­i­day-mak­ers.

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