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Last Updated : Jun 25, 2019 05:32 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

As Sri Lanka tourism limps back to life, special travel packages being offered to Indians

Lankan Tourism Minister said that the security has been beefed up to ensure the safety of the tourists.

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(Image: Needpix.com)
(Image: Needpix.com)

Two months have passed by since serial blasts ripped through churches and hotels in Sri Lanka claiming hundreds of lives. A spate of firings followed afterward, with the top rung of the administration facing most of the brunt.

A gradual thaw can be seen now, as emotions of rage and hate are finally mellowing down. To come back to life, the island nation needed a robust plan to promote tourism once again, and it is indulging in just that by rolling out special packages at reasonable prices to attract tourists, especially from India.

Though not the mainstay, tourism is a major contributor to the pearl-shaped country’s economy and data had revealed that a bulk of its tourists are Indians.

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In fact, a record five lakh Indian tourists visited Lanka in 2018, surpassing the footfall of Chinese visitors also, as per a report by DNA.

John AE Amaratunga, the tourism minister of Sri Lanka, said the country is hopeful of a 25% rise in the footfall of Indian tourists this year. The Lankan government has introduced a slew of special tourism packages meant only for Indians.

The packages will be available at highly discounted rates and include lowered airfare, accommodation, and commute. The discount rate would range between 30 and 60 percent. The special packages will include stay combos in Colombo, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Dambulla, Sigiriya, and South Coast.

To ensure the safety of the record number of Indian tourists, the authorities have also beefed up security, the Tourism Minister said.

Amaratunga added that they have also developed the Ramayana circuit, which would include landscape and areas connected to the ancient epic Ramayana. “We are coming out with authentic documentaries on the places in the circuit,” he said.

Putting worries over tourist security to rest, the minister said: “We will ensure the safety of all the people visiting our country. Within days of the macabre incident, every person involved in the terror attack was taken into custody. Every hotel has been directed to install a mechanism to check all baggage and also deploy armed forces. At our ports, police are scrutinising all arrivals.”

On June 9, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first foreign head of state to visit the island nation after the blasts.
First Published on Jun 25, 2019 05:32 pm
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