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Sri Lanka aims 3 million tourists in 2019

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Published: 19:15 GMT, Aug 22, 2018 |
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Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister, John Amaratunga on Wednesday said the government hoped to attract at least 3 million tourists in 2019, making Sri Lanka one of the most sought after destinations in the global tourism map.

Amaratunga said the government hoped to launch a new country branding for Sri Lanka Tourism at the World Travel Mart to be held in London in November and the government would soon select a global branding agency for this purpose.

He said promoting Sri Lanka as a destination brand would be critical to attract international visitors to the country.

“Sri Lanka has always focused on its diversity to attract visitors to the country. It’s this diversity that we intend to focus upon, strengthened by its authenticity driven by the rich heritage of our history, nature, culture and our people who smile from the heart that makes our island home a paradise for the visitor,” Amaratunga said.

“We, as a government, are committed to ensuring that tourism will drive all sectors of society and the diverse sectors of commercial enterprise. We want the country, the people and all organizations located across the island to enjoy the benefits of tourism,” he added.

Sri Lanka tourism has emerged as one of the leading foreign exchange earners in recent years with many international publications dubbing it as one of the world’s greatest tourist hot spots.

So far this year, over 1.3 million tourists have already visited the island with India, China and Britain being the leading markets.

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