'Indian tourists to Sri Lanka will exceed one million in 10 years'
28 May 2013

Indian Association of Tour Operators' President Subhash Goyal has told a Sri Lankan newspaper that Indian tourists arrivals to Sri Lanka will exceed one million within next ten years as more Indians have started spending their holiday in Sri Lanka with the end of terrorism.

"Indians visiting Sri Lanka prefer to travel to Sri Lanka again and again", he said.

Goyal said that Indian travel and tour operators promoting Sri Lanka are much benefited as their customer base remains intact. Goyal opined that Sri Lanka has become a favourable destination for Indians. Indian companies have already planned their sales meetings in Colombo as many airlines including SriLankan operate direct flights from almost all states in India.

Asked whether the protest brewing in Tamil Nadu against Sri Lanka has any impact on tourism industry, Goyal said that the people in the Southern States of India were the biggest beneficiaries from the industry.

"There are elements who are always in the habit of protesting. But the people in Tamil Nadu and Kerala are benefited quite a lot from the tourism industry," he said.

Goyal said that Indians prefer to do shopping and visit casinos in Sri Lanka. He added that Indians have become the top shoppers in Dubai, Switzerland and London. According to Singapore Tourist Board statistics Indian tourists have secured the second place in terms of shopping in Thailand, he said.

He said that tourism industry in Sri Lanka has seen tremendous development for the past few years due to a number of bold steps taken by the Sri Lanka Government.

"The Government of Sri Lanka established peace in the country by eliminating terrorism. This helped promote tourism in the country tremendously," he said.

Goyal said that outbound travel in India exceed 13 million a year though inbound travellers are only 5.6 million. Goyal opined that the two countries have very close cultural and religious affinity.

He added that more than 60 million are travelling within India a year and there are potential outbound travellers among them.

"There is no problem for those who travel within states to visit Sri Lanka too, as it is nearby", he said.
[Source: Daily News]


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