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Sri Lanka looks east for tourism growth
Feizal Samath, Colombo, February 28, 2014

THE Sri Lankan government has approved an additional US$15 million boost for marketing promotions in the growing source markets of Asia, with South Korea among the new countries being courted.


Passed by the Sri Lankan cabinet last week, the sum will go towards holding and enhancing roadshows and outdoor promotions in South Korea, China, India and Russia over the next two years.


A Sri Lankan Tourism official who chose to remain anonymous said: “We are looking at a lot of outdoor promotions (which we did in China last year).”


He pointed out that South Korea was a “growing market with many outbound travellers” and said a large number of Sri Lankans are employed there.


Travel analysts have highlighted a significant shift to eastern markets from the traditional west as a tourism source. India is Sri Lanka’s top market with 208,795 arrivals in 2013, up 18.4 per cent year-on year.


Chinese and Russian arrivals exploded in 2013, soaring 96.5 per cent and 80.4 per cent year-on-year, registering 54,288 and 51,231 visitors respectively.


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