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Sri Lanka eyes U.S. for more tourists

The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday said that it intends to undertake a tourism promotion campaign in the United States in order to attract more western tourists.

In a Foreign Ministry statement released here, quoting Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the U.S. Prasad Kariyawasam, it said that although the U.S. was presently ranked as the ninth source of tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka, with more focused attention to U.S. travelers looking for new and unique destinations, the potential for growth in the U.S. market was immense.

Leading international travel magazines have already ranked Sri Lanka as a top destination for 2016 with many tour companies offering trips to the island nation this year.

The country's tourism industry has become the leading foreign exchange earner and the new government led by President Maithripala Sirisena intends to achieve at least four million tourists' target by 2020.

Statistics recently released by the country's Tourism Development Authority showed that the Sri Lanka had received almost 1.8 million tourists in 2015, up 17.8 percent from the previous year.

The increase was largely due to an increase in the number of Chinese tourists visiting the island nation in the recent years.
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