Next holiday: Sri Lanka woos Indian tourists

To boost its tourism revenues from $1 billion in calendar year 2012 to $1.36 billion in 2013, Sri Lanka has embarked on wooing Indian tourists, given that their spend in the island nation is next only to Americans and Germans.

The Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Bhashwara Senanka Gunarathna, during a roadshow to promote Sri Lanka here on Friday, said, "India is a high-end market for us. The average spend per Indian tourist per tour is $935 and about 1,76,340 Indian tourists visited Sri Lanka in 2012."

Sri Lanka's tourism earnings stood at $840 million in 2011. Gunarathna added that Sri Lanka has a target of attracting 2.5 million tourists, including 4 lakh Indians and earn revenues of about $2.5 billion by 2016.

The road show called "Get Sri Lanked" is a four-day event in Bangalore that will kickstart on February 21 and comprise visits by Sri Lankan cricketers, fashion show, business-to-business meetings between tour and travel operators of both countries, and promotion of Sri Lankan products.

The roadshow will also be held in six other Indian cities, including Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad, apart from other emerging nations across the world, Gunarathna said.
The bilateral trade between the two nations was valued at about $5 billion in 2011-12.

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