Tourists from India, China help strengthen Lanka's economy

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Colombo, July 1 (IANS) An increase in tourists mainly from China and India will help strengthen Sri Lanka's frail economy as tourism is poised to become the largest foreign exchange earner for the country, an official said on Friday.

The number of tourists from China and India increased in the recent years and due to the prevailing crisis in Europe, Asia has become an ideal destination, Xinhua news agency reported.

"India and China are one of our main markets and we will conduct more promotional programmes to attract tourists from these two countries in the future. Currently, the average money spent by a tourist per day is valued at $165, which is good," an official said.

While tourism was currently the third foreign exchange earner, it would soon lead as a higher number of tourists were selecting Sri Lanka as an ideal tourism destination, the official added.

An estimated 1.8 million tourists arrived in Sri Lanka in 2015, contributing to $2.98 billion of earnings to government revenues. 

The government said it hoped to attract at least three million tourists by the end of 2016, and it has set a target of four million by 2020.​

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