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SL Tourism Board targets 1.5 lakh Indian visitors this year

Written by: Staff
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Bangalore, May 1 (UNI) The recent human bomb blast in Sri Lanka in which top military officials were injured and consequent fighting between the authorities and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has not affected the tourism sector in the Island nation, Sri Lanka Tourism Board Assistant Director Madhubani Periera said today.

Talking to newspersons here, she said hotels in Colombo reported over 90 per cent bookings and normal life had not been affected.

In fact tourists had never been the target of the LTTE and there was no hindrance for any tourist to move around, she added.

To a question, Ms Periera said the tourist inflow into the Island nation had grown 13.1 per cent year on year. It was the fourth largest foreign exchange earner for the country's economy and India was the foremost contributor with over 20 per cent tourists, she revealed.

She informed that SLTB was committed to invest around Rs 10 million to increase destination visibility and recall in the Indian market. The marketing initiatives included varied trade and commercial activities and undertaking tactical campaigns and consumer promotions in select metros, targetting tier-II cities, she added.

Ms Periera said the Board, in its bid to attract increased travel trade traffic from India, had embarked upon roadshows in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore, focusing on interaction with over 600 companies. It expected to attract over 1.5 lakh Indian tourists during the year as against 1.13 lakh registered in 2004.

UNI SR RG MP ND2108

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