COLOMBO, March 15 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lankan government on Friday said it will launch a massive tourism campaign in Russia and Ukraine in order to attract more tourists to visit the island nation.
The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau(SLTPB) said that with the objective of furthering the propagation of the tourism industry, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Russia with the support of the SLTPB has organized a three-week tourism promotional campaign, the "Mega Tourism Road Show" in Russia and Ukraine.
The road show will commence on March 17 with the activation of the shopping mall "Mega Dybenko" in St Petersburg followed by three week long Mega Road Show in Moscow and Kiev.
Major events conducted during the campaign are shopping mall activation, workshops on Sri Lankan tourism, cultural shows, photo exhibitions, press conferences and participation in world renowned travel and trade fairs; MITT 2013 in Moscow , UITT 2013 in Kiev and Ukrainian Travel Forum 2013, the SLTPB said.
"For the last three years the industry has grown from strength to strength with 2012 recording an all time high tourist arrivals of 1,005,605 thus making the island as a popular and hot tourist destination. On the contrary, it is of utmost importance that the tourism industry and destination be promoted and advertised well in order to attract more tourists keeping in view the ambition of the government," the SLTPB said in a statement.
Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 13.4 percent year-on-year in January this year, government data showed on Wednesday, with the number of foreign visitors rising for the 45th straight month since the end of a 30 year civil war in May 2009 against Tamil Tiger rebels.
The number of foreign visitors jumped to 97,411 in the first month of this year from 85,874 recorded in the same month of 2012, government statistics showed.
Arrivals hit a record high of over 1 million last year with annual revenue from tourism also jumping to an all-time peak of 1. 04 billion, exceeding government estimates.
India is currently the No. 1 market in tourist arrivals to the island nation while countries such as China are also trying to promote the country.
Over 100 Chinese tour agents are expected to visit Sri Lanka this year to promote the tropical island as a tourist destination for the world's second largest growing economy.