Visit Sri Lanka in 2020 as govt aims at doubling tourist arrivals

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Colombo: Sri Lankan authorities are aiming to attract 4 million tourists in 2020 and a revenue of $5 billion to spearhead an overall economic revival of the country, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said.

This will amount to doubling the arrivals, as the island-nation had received 1.91 million tourists in 2019, Xinhua news agency quoted Ranatunga as saying to the local media on Thursday.

He said that a new long-term marketing plan to boost tourism will be drawn up for the consideration of the industry and the government within the next few weeks.

However, the government will continue with its "So Sri Lanka" tagline in its global publicity campaigns, he added.

The minister said that the government hopes to see the average daily spending of a tourist goes up from $180 to $210, while also expecting the average stay of a traveller to be extended from eight days to ten or more by the end of the year.

Following the Easter Sunday terror attacks in April 2019, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has given priority to the recovery of the country's tourism industry, reflecting the industry's ability to contribute to the development of the overall economy, Ranatunga said.

He added that the authorities were also working on ways to create 600,000 jobs in the tourism sector within this year.

Sri Lanka ended 2019 with 1.91 million tourists, falling short of its estimated target of two million tourists.

India, China and Britain were the leading markets for Sri Lankan tourism last year.

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