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Sri Lanka to increase international air connectivity

IANS  |  Colombo 

is looking to increase international air connectivity in an effort to boost tourism, a statement said here on Tuesday.

With the tourism industry recording a positive growth since 2009, officials said they now hope to have more direct flights, open skies policy, competitive landing and parking fees, incentivising low-cost airlines and smoother immigration and check-in procedures, Xinhua news agency reported.

is also hoping, with public and private stakeholders, to create a "Colombo Calendar" of events which tourists can access across multiple channels.

"The main goal is to ensure doubles its tourism sector earnings from the present $3.5 billion in 2016 to $7 billion by 2020," the Tourism Ministry statement said.

Last year, 2.05 million tourists arrived in Sri Lanka, taking the island's tourism earnings to a record of $346.98 million in July 2016.

India and China have been the leading markets with the most number of tourist arrivals.

Over 270,000 Chinese tourists arrived in in 2016, with China recording the strongest growth of 26.4 per cent compared to the previous year.

This year, has set a target of 2.5 million tourists.

--IANS

ksk/vt

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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