Sri Lanka looks at promoting Ramayana trail to attract Indian tourists.
Odishatv.in: Sri Lanka’s newly appointed tourism brand Ambassador and cricket legend Sanath Jayasuriya has said his country will concentrate on promoting the Ramayana trail to Indian tourists, as the crisis-hit island nation seeks to boost tourism for economic recovery.
Jayasuriya, a former Sri Lankan cricket captain, met India’s High Commissioner in Colombo Gopal Baglay on Monday (8 August).
“Sri Lanka’s newly appointed tourism brand Ambassador, cricket legend @Sanath07 met High Commissioner today. The meeting focused on strengthening ties between the people of India and Sri Lanka and promoting tourism as an instrument for economic recovery,” the Indian High Commission tweeted.
Responding to the Tweet, Jayasuriya yesterday thanked Baglay for agreeing to meet him.
“We will concentrate on promoting the Ramayana trail to the Indian tourists,” he tweeted.
Both India and Sri Lanka agreed in 2008 to work on enhancing shared cultural and religious values based on the Ramayana heritage.
The Ramayana is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and an important text of Hinduism. There are 52 sites on the Ramayana Trail in Sri Lanka.
India in May re-emerged as Sri Lanka’s top inbound tourist market with 5,562 arrivals followed by the UK with 3,723 arrivals.
The 53-year-old former Sri Lankan cricketer and captain was appointed as the Brand Ambassador of Tourism for Sri Lanka last week.
Monday’s meeting between Jayasuriya and Baglay was the second this year. Jayasuriya met with Baglay in April and sought India’s assistance in obtaining essential medicines for Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has been witnessing one of the worst economic crises since its Independence in 1948. The Sri Lankan Government declared bankruptcy in mid-April by refusing to honour its international debt.
India has been at the forefront of extending economic assistance of nearly $ 4 billion to Sri Lanka during the year.
Sri Lanka and India enjoy strong bilateral and trade ties that have been further strengthened by an operational free trade agreement (FTA). Ties between the two countries have also expanded to the tourism industry with tourists from India dominating tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka. Tourism authorities in Sri Lanka have also focused on further promoting cultural and religious tourism between the two countries. Given the growing tourism industry in Sri Lanka and the interest shown by Indian tourists, Indian businesses, especially those in the leisure and hospitality sectors, could explore the increasing opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry. Also, the growth and profits recorded by Indian leisure and hospitality businesses that are already operating in Sri Lanka is indicative of the growth and business potential in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry. With Sri Lanka working towards becoming an emerging business destination in the South Asian region, Indian businesses/investors could confidently explore the growing opportunities in the key economic sectors in Sri Lanka.
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