Sri Lanka eyes Europe for more tourists

European tourists in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan government seeks to attract more European tourists and have appointed a senior official as a tourism consultant to focus especially on the European continent, officials said on Thursday.

Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said the country hopes to attract more Europeans who are traditionally identified as good spenders with demand for high standards as several international hotels are now opened in Colombo.

“Today with so many hotels coming up, we need to redouble our efforts to attract more Europeans to our country,” Amaratunga said.

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has witnessed a positive growth in recent years with India and China being the leading sources of tourists. Europeans once formed the bedrock of Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.

Sri Lanka received over 2 million tourists in 2016 and the government hopes to achieve a target of 4 million tourists per year by 2020.

Amaratunga told media earlier this month that Sri Lanka hopes to attract 2.5 million tourists this year, Xinhua reports.