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Sri Lanka targets 440,000 Indian tourists for 2018

Sri Lanka currently targets 440,000 Indian tourists this year, officials said.

Describing itself as a destination for all seasons, tourism officials, at a press conference, also announced that a record 3,84,628 tourists arrived from India last year.

“Understanding the unique offerings for Indian tourists, Sri Lanka now targets for 440,000 Indian arrivals, this year,” the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) said in a statement.

The Sri Lanka has recently been named as the Emerging Destination of the Year by Conde Nast Traveller. It was also mentioned as India and Asia's leading adventure tourism destination of the year in 2017.

A survey conducted by the SLTPB highlights that 63.7 percent of Indians opt for sightseeing excursions and nearly 50 per cent go for shopping.

“37.01 percent Indian tourists visit historical sites in Sri Lanka, while wildlife remains the choice for 21 percent only,” it said.

Witnessing the growth and potential from India, the SLTPB would be participating at the SATTE – 2018 (South Asian Travel and Tourism Exhibition), with 52 travel agents and hoteliers.

“While the pristine beaches and cultural aspect of Sri Lanka are already being explored by Indian guests, however, the key area of focus for this year's participation would be to promote film tourism, destination wedding, religious and pilgrimage tourism.

“A tea bar representing Ceylon Tea would be located at the Sri Lanka pavilion at SATTE – 2018,” the statement said.

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramaniam said, “India continues to be our top source market.”

“We believe that the potential of the Indian travel market is yet to be realised in terms of attracting longer stay and higher-spending tourists. It is our fervent hope to make Sri Lanka the most preferred destination in Asia for Indian tourists,” he said.

Sri Lanka, an island nation, is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites and is renowned for the ancient Sigiriya rock fortress and its rich colonial legacy. (PTI)