National Geographic Traveler picks Sri Lanka as one of the best places to visit in 2012

Dec 02, Colombo: The award-winning National Geographic Traveler magazine’s November/December issue has picked Sri Lanka as one of the 20 best places to visit in 2012.

As one of the “Best of the World 2012”, the expose on Sri Lanka features the luscious green tea plantations in the hill country, ancient Buddhist temples of Dambulla and Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, wildlife in Yala, and the UNESCO’s world heritage site of Central Highlands that cradles the Adam’s Peak.

One piece ‘Jolly Good Times in Hill Country’ describes Nuwara Eliya as a “colonial-era resort town in Sri Lanka’s stunning hill country.”

“The first thing that strikes you is the climate. Damp and bracingly cool, this place doesn’t fit your image of Sri Lanka, the lush island nation-formerly known as Ceylon-that hangs like a teardrop off the tip of southern India,” the review describes the climate of the highlands.

“This mountainous, mist-draped realm has long been popular with backpackers and other adventurers for its tea plantations (above) and rain forest preserves, known as the Central Highlands, which recently were added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list.”

Since the end of the war in May 2009 Sri Lanka has been a popular destination for tourists. A series of favorable travel articles in The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, and the websites Daily Candy and Lonely Planet has given Sri Lanka top travel rankings.

Last year, the National Geographic ranked Sri Lanka at second place out of 25 countries for ‘Best New Trips for 2010’.

The New York Times named Sri Lanka the No. 1 travel destination in 2010, noting that the long conflict against the LTTE terrorism is over and that there is no better time to travel to Sri Lanka’s unspoiled beaches, mountainous terrain and wildlife parks.

With the arrival of the 750,000th tourist in the country last month Sri Lanka has already exceeded its tourism goal for the year 2011.

Under a new five-year plan to boost tourism in the country, Sri Lanka expects to raise the number of arrivals to 2.5 million and to earn annual revenue of US$ 2.75 billion by 2016.

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