Colombo, March 11 (newsin.asia): The Deputy High Commissioner of India, Vinod K. Jacob spoke at the presentation on Ramayana Trails organised by Sri Lanka – India Society and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau at Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, Colombo on March 10.
India, he said, wants more people-to-people contacts established through two-way Indo-Lankan tourism. The Ramayana Trail in Sri Lanka and Buddhist Trails in India would eminently serve this purpose and India and Sri Lanka are working to achieve the common goal.
“India is ready to welcome tourists again and considers Sri Lanka as an important source market for tourism. To encourage tourism, Government of India had recently suspended the RT-PCR test requirement for travelers who are fully vaccinated and announced the resumption of international commercial flights from 27th March 2022, “ Jacob said.
He noted that despite the COVID related restrictions in 2021, 1.94 lakh tourists arrived in Sri Lanka, out of which 56,268 were from India which translates into about 29% of total arrivals.
On Sri Lankans visiting India, Jacob said that in the last two months, 7,682 tourists from Sri Lanka had visited India, while 196 had travelled for medical purposes. The objective of reaching the record of 3 lakh tourists to India in 2019 should be pursued, Jacob urged.
It is a good time for Sri Lankans in all walks of life to benefit from opportunities available in India he said and mentioned Sri Lankan cricketers in the Indian Premier League, artists in Bollywood and other creative personalities and investors.
The Deputy High Commissioner highlighted the strong people to people and cultural ties between India and Sri Lanka. In this connection, he mentioned the establishment of the air bubble arrangement between India and Sri Lanka in April 2021, holding of the third Joint Working Group Meeting on Tourism and the inaugural flight from Sri Lanka to Kushinagar airport in October 2021.
The programn included presentation to audience on prominent sites linked with Ramayana in Sri Lanka, which would be of interest to Indian tourists.