Sri Lanka has seen decades of ethnic war which has ended for a while and tourists are visiting Colombo. Tamils in the city too are flocking there to explore its scenic locales. Sri Lanka is fast becoming a preferred destination for residents of India, as it is just next door and is easy on the pocket.
Although, during the tourist season the food and lodging is more expensive, many people choose to vacation there, say travel operators. “We had made over 200 bookings to Sri Lanka last year. During the conflict years we hardly made 20 bookings annually,” said Mahaveer Jain, tour operator.
According to Mahaveer Jain, the availability of inexpensive travel packages and air fare are the main factors in favour of Sri Lanka as a tourist destination. An average cost of flights from Chennai is Rs.4500 ($100 approx)
The average cost of Sri Lankan tour packages spanning two nights and three days is between Rs.13,000 (approx $290) and Rs.15,000 (approx $340).
The country, a small island in the Indian Ocean, is a fusion of the old world and the new. It combines ancient heritage sites and local cultural festivals with luxury beach hotels and spas. Travelers to Sri Lanka can have the best of both worlds – roaming the local markets in the morning, feeding baby elephants in the afternoon, and a five-star spa treatment and gourmet meal at night.
Voluntourism is also popular in Sri Lanka and, considering the devastation of the 2004 tsunami, this is a good spot to recommend to clients looking to give back to a community. Travelers can work to help local families, preserve the environment, protect endangered wildlife and cultural heritage.
The favoured tourist destinations in Sri Lanka include Colombo and Candy. The stupas in Anuradhapura and areas where Buddhist civilisation was prevalent are popular tourist spots. The sacred mountain peak called Adam’s peak, located in Central Sri Lanka, believed to bear the foot print of Lord Buddha himself, is also a major pilgrimage and tourist spot in Sri Lanka.
“However, most of the hotels have increased their rates and package rates have also gone up. The low cost is one of the main factors attracting people to opt for Sri Lanka,” said V Kumar, senior manager, Starline Travels.
[Source: The Times of India]