SRI LANKA NAMED AMONG SIX “BEST OF THE WORLD 2012” DESTINATIONS BY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELER MAGAZINE

December 1, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Traveler earlier ranked Sri Lanka tops among foreign trips in 2010

WASHINGTON – National Geographic Traveler magazine has named Sri Lanka among its top six destinations for world travelers in 2012, lauding the island nation’s heritage sites, wildlife, lush landscapes and pristine beaches.

Sigiriya

Sri Lanka, Traveler writes in its November/December issue, means “resplendent isle, and the natural charms of this pear-shaped island in the Indian Ocean that nearly kisses the southeast tip of India are indeed splendid….Sri Lanka’s hill country features stunning scenery, tea plantations, and ancient Buddhist temples.”

Traveler magazine also mentions Sri Lanka’s many heritage sites and its colonial history: “The Portuguese and the Dutch once waged proxy wars here; by 1802 the island was a British colony.”

And it notes the successful conclusion of the most recent conflict, against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which ended with the terrorist group’s defeat in 2009, opening the door to increased tourism.

“Today peace prevails,” Traveler reported.

Sri Lanka tourism has grown impressively, with a 52 percent increase in 2010 compared to 2009. An even larger increase is expected for all of 2011.

With those increases, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority has outlined a plan to reach a 30,000 hotel-room capacity by 2015, when the total number of annual tourists is expected to reach 2.5 million. Special focus has also been put on increasing the level of service in tourist-related industries.

AdamsPeak

Recently, top hotel chains such as Starwood (Sheraton), Marriott, Shangri La and Taj have announced plans for new construction in Sri Lanka. A number of existing hotels are also undergoing renovation.

Sri Lanka offers visitors a wide variety of unique venues, from broad white beaches to mountain vistas, wildlife parks teeming with elephants, leopards and more, rolling tea plantations, spas, adventure tourism, surfing and ancient UNESCO World Heritage sites.

As such, Sri Lanka has received a number of favorable travel reviews since 2010, beginning that year with a New York Times’ ranking as the number one place to visit.

National Geographic also included Sri Lanka on its top trips in 2010, and several popular travel websites, including

DailyCandy.com (http://www.dailycandy.com/online/article/79305/DailyCandy-Goes-to-Sri-Lanka) and

Lonelyplanet.com (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/sri-lanka/travel-tips-and-articles/76501) have also raved about Sri Lanka.