Colombo, Jan 19 (NIA) – Sri Lanka, on Thursday said it wanted to attract more European tourists to visit the island country and had appointed a senior official as a tourism consultant who would focus especially on Germany and the European continent.
Tourism Minister, John Amaratunga said that Europeans were traditionally identified as good spenders and demanded high standards and with several international hotel brands now opening in Colombo, the island hoped to attract more Europeans into the country.
“Before the influx of the Indian and Chinese tourists it was the Europeans that formed the bedrock of our tourism industry. Even during the 30 year war the Europeans never stopped coming,” Amaratunga said.
“Today with so many hotels coming up we need to redouble our efforts to attract more Europeans to our country,” Amaratunga added.
Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has in recent years witnessed a positive growth with India and China being the leading markets for the most number of tourist arrivals.
Last year, Sri Lanka received over 2 million tourists and with many new 5 star hotels now set to open in Colombo within the span of 4 years, the government said it hoped to achieve a target of 4 million tourists per year by 2020.
Minister Amaratunga recently announced that this year, with the launch of new mega tourism promotion campaigns in some of the major cities in the world, Sri Lanka hoped to attract 2.5 million tourists.