Blessed with an abundance of scenic, natural beauty, year-round sunshine and a rich cultural heritage spanning over 2,500 years, Sri Lanka has every reason to be called a tourist paradise. One can travel from a warm seaside resort, to the cool climes of the verdant hills, within a matter of hours, experiencing a remarkable change in scenery and climate along the way. Sri Lanka has a well-developed tourism infrastructure and is relatively clean and crime-free.
The prestigious New York Times has named Sri Lanka as one of the top 10 destinations to visit in 2012. Over 850,000 tourists visited Sri Lanka in 2011, making it the highest ever recorded number of arrivals. Plans are underway by the Government of Sri Lanka to increase this number to 2 million by the year 2016. Several leading international hotel chains are present in Sri Lanka, together with a number of locally owned hotels, offering visitors a wide choice of accommodation ranging from the luxurious to Spartan, as well as ‘Home Stays’ at Sri Lankan homes, which will help you gain a better understanding of local culture, traditions and lifestyles. Many top-notch international chains and have signed deals and are in the process of building their properties, thereby increasing the number of rooms available. Casinos and other tourism related projects are coming up fast.
With its reputation as a popular spot for honeymooners, it is only logical that couples have chosen to have their wedding as well over here. Sri Lankan themed weddings are popular among westerners, complete with ‘Poruwa’ (an ornate platform for the couple), clothing, jewellery, accessories, ceremonies and even cuisine reflecting the local culture. Venues can range from hotels and beaches, natural scenic spots, to pontoons . More adventurous options are available, depending one’s imagination.
Sri Lanka has a wide range of boutique hotels, which cater to diverse needs and varying degrees of exclusivity - from seaside paradises, to eco-friendly enclaves, historic landmark buildings, colonial mansions and those offering specialized services, such as Ayurveda and Yoga. These boutique hotels are typically small and unique, with intimate and quiet surroundings and a high quality, but discreet service.
Boutique hotels are your best bet, if you wish to get away from the hustle and bustle of big name hotels and experience a warm and personalized service.
Destin ation for ‘MICE’
Due to its central location in the Indian Ocean, affording easy access from all parts of the world, as well as its legendary beaches, sunny climate and diverse attractions, Sri Lanka is fast emerging as a sought after, exotic and affordable destination for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE). Leading airlines and luxury cruises include Colombo as part of their regular schedule, while international and local hotels offer star-class accommodation, modern conference facilities and special packages for the MICE sector. English is the language of commerce and is widely spoken and understood, which is yet another reason that has made Sri Lanka a prime destination for MICE.