British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka praises Sri Lankan travel industry

British High Commissioner Dominic Chilcott praised the performance of the Lankan travel industry despite the difficult environment created by the conflict.

Highlighting the potential for tourism to contribute to Sri Lanka's economic development he encouraged the Government and the industry to realise the massive potential for tourism, particularly in promoting growth in rural areas.

"The variety of tourist sites, from beaches to temples to scenery to wildlife, together with the smiling Sri Lankan people, makes Sri Lanka a unique destination," he said.

Speaking at the Ceylon Hotel School Graduate's Association event in Habarana the High Commissioner highlighted three areas where change would significantly improve Sri Lanka's earnings from tourism: ending the conflict, more eco-tourism and improving the country's transport infrastructure.

The High Commissioner said strong historical and cultural links between Britain and Sri Lanka meant that British tourist arrivals had dropped only slightly compared to some other nations in recent months. British tourists remained the industries most valuable overseas customers.

On the eve of England's cricket tour he hoped the tourism industry and the country as a whole, were prepared for the arrival of England's touring fans, the "Barmy Army".

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