Sri Lanka, which is promoting itself as a destination for all seasons, is expecting over 26 percent growth in footfall at about 4,50,000 Indian tourists this year. It hosted 3,56,000 Indian travellers in 2016, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau’s Director of Marketing Madubhani Perera told PTI here.
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“Due to proximity and good connectivity, India is the number one source market of our country. We are witnessing a huge growth in travellers belonging 25-40 years from India, especially attracted to the beaches, night life and adventure sports in Sri Lanka,” she added.
China is the number two source, followed by the UK, Germany and France. India is connected with Sri Lanka with over 150 flights every week.
For the older age groups the `Ramayan trail’ is an attraction, and Indians not only from India but also from across the world are visiting Sri Lanka to experience this. “We have identified 16 sites for the Ramayan Trail,” Perera said.
Sri Lanka sees great potential in weddings, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events (MICE), films and cruise. “With destination wedding becoming a trend, we see a huge potential and want to tap this market in India. MICE and films are other areas which provide us good opportunity,” she said.
Further, she said, there is an increasing trend for cruise from India, and Sri Lanka can become an embarking point for those travellers. Sri Lanka is planning to spend 150 million Sri Lankan rupees for trade promotion and marketing activities like road shows to woo the Indian travellers.
Apart from a road show in Mumbai, the SLTPB has plans of conducting road shows in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune. “We are also planning to hold road shows in tier II cities in India,” Perera added.
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