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Sri Lanka woos tourists from India, expecting more growth this year

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

is expecting a healthy growth in the number of Indian tourists arrivals this year as the island nation is out to woo travellers even from smaller cities, a senior Lankan official said here today.

has seen a substantial growth in tourist arrivals from last year, with over 3.84 lakh travellers.

"However, this year we are targeting 4.50 lakh tourists from India," Viranga Bandara, Director-Marketing, Promotion Bureau said here today.

"Mainly, we get tourists from the main metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, those are main generating hubs for Sri Lanka tourism. But we are also targeting smaller cities," he said.

Upekkha Samaratunga, (Commercial) Sri Lanka High Commission in New Delhi, said that according to Sri Lanka tourism statistics, "is No. 1 when it comes to inward traffic to the island nation."

"We look forward to have travellers from throughout the year irrespective of any season. Most of the Indians like to travel short distance on a competitive budget, in that scenario Sri Lanka has become quite popular. However, we are also targeting the high-end tourists from various parts of India, including Chandigarh and neighbouring towns like Ludhiana," Samaratunga told here.

About Sri Lankan food, she said that there is lot of similarity "in our cuisine and what we find in many parts of We also use lot of coconut in our preparations, like it is used in "

"Sri Lankan cinnamon, pepper and other products are quite popular among the Indians. Through tourism, we can expand our trading relations as well, as India is our key trading partner. Tourism will also help enhance people-to-people contact between the two neighbours and further strengthen our relations," she further said.

Both Samaratunga and Bandara were here in connection with a tourism promotion event.

The island nation held a roadshow in Chandigarh today, which was organized by

The roadshow in Chandigarh is a part of Sri Lanka Tourism's 7-city roadshow in India, and Chandigarh is the first city in this series. Plans are underway to jointly work with airlines and tour operators to promote the destination more aggressively, Bandara said.

"As a Tourism Promotion Bureau, we have created the platform for tour operators and hoteliers to come down to Chandigarh and meet the potential tour operators from this city for a business discussion. We have recognised Chandigarh as one of the potential market for us," he said.

He said that India is number one market in terms of tourists arrivals followed by China, UK and

"Just to name a few popular destinations in Sri Lanka visited by tourists include, Kandy, Colombo and Bentota. Besides, we have destinations for wildlife, pristine beaches and diverse range of products for Indian tourists," he said.

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

First Published: Tue, July 10 2018. 18:45 IST