Sri Lanka Becoming A Popular Tourism Destination In Asia

The people and officials of the island nation of Sri Lanka in Asia are now in jovial mood.  This developed after its tourism officials reported an increase of 32.3 percent of its tourist arrivals in July compared to their data last year.  Based on the data gathered by the Sri Lankan government it was also learned that the record is considered the highest level since  December’s record tally, as the island nation kept attracting more visitors and tourism-related investment since the end of a 25-year civil war.

According to the data released by the Sri Lankan tourism sector tourist arrivals have risen every month on a year-on-year basis since the war’s end in May 2009, and the government is targeting annual revenue of $2.5 billion by 2016 from visitors coming to see Sri Lanka’s beaches, hills and religious and historic sites.  With its huge revenues from touri sm, the government hoped to get at least $1.5 billion in foreign investment into a proposed “tourist city” replete with hotels, shopping and a convention center in Katana, a coastal town located 15 km north of the commercial capital, Colombo.

It was learned that the administration of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government has facilitated $1.2 billion in tourism investment so far in 2011. Visitors in July were 83,786, against 63,330 in July 2010, and the highest since the record 84,627 received in December.Arrivals in the first seven months of 2011 have jumped 36.1 percent to 465,324, compared to the same period a year ago.

The 654,476 arrivals in 2010 smashed the previous all-time high 566,202 from 2004, when a peace accord was in place. Last’s year’s tally was 46.1 percent higher than the year before.  Tourism revenue rose 50.9 percent in first half of this year to $370.1 million compared to the corresponding period last year after jumping 64.8 percent
year-on-year to a record $575.9 million in 2010, the central bank’s latest data showed.  The growth of tourism of the Asian country had been attributed to the strong efforts of its officials and the many scenic spots in the island nation that captured the hearts of tourists around the world.