National Geographic ranks Sri Lanka among top six

National Geographic Traveller magazine has ranked Sri Lanka among the top six tourism destinations.

Sri Lanka has successfully surpassed its 750,000 tourism arrivals goal for this year within the first 11 months, which is attracting many international investors for development opportunities.

The magazine reported that the country after a 30 year bloody conflict has restored peace and the country had opened its doors to increase tourism providing many opportunities.

Sri Lanka tourism has grown impressively, with a 52 percent increase in 2010 compared to 2009. An even larger increase is expected for all of 2011with Sri Lanka Tourism Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa

forecasting an 800,000 tourist arrivals for this year after successfully achieving its set goal of 750,000 arrivals within the first 11 months. .

With these increases, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority has outlined a plan to reach a 30,000 hotel-room capacity by 2015, when the total number of annual tourists is expected to reach 2.5 million Special focus has also been put on increasing the level of service in tourist-related industries.

Recently top hotel chains such as Stanwood (Sheraton), Marriot, Shangri La and Ta have announced plans for new construction in Sri Lanka. A number of existing hotels are also undergoing renovation.

Dr. Godahewa at the launch of the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct said Sri Lanka hopes to reach the one million mark of tourist arrivals next year and the country would focus heavily on its marketing efforts.

He noted that the expected investment for capacity building has not been realized for this year was on progress while next year the country focuses to attract other sorts of investment for tourism development as the country needs to provide entertainment for the arrivals.

Sri Lanka has received a number of favourable travel reviews since 2010, beginning with New York Times’ ranking the country as the number one place to visit.

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