Source: News Bharati English02 May 2016 17:36:05

Jaffna, May 2: Sri Lanka’s revenue from tourism rose to $2.98 billion from $349 million over the last six years after the island nation’s 26-year-old civil war ended in 2009.

In 2009, 4.48 lakh tourists arrived in Sri Lanka and the numbers rose to 17.98 lakhs in 2015, according to the 2015 Annual Report of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL). Foreign exchange earnings from tourism ranked third, next to workers’ remittances and income from garment exports.

“The tourism industry is blooming in the Eastern and Northern provinces of the country,” the two regions hit hard by the strife. Seventy four tourism development projects including 56 in the East were completed in the past six years, according to the report.

An official in Jaffna said if the Palaly airport in Jaffna resumed flight services to Tiruchi, following the completion of the proposed modernisation with the technical and financial support of the Indian government, it would also result in greater tourist arrivals from India, especially central and southern parts of Tamil Nadu.

Tourist arrivals in 2015 recorded a 17.8 per cent increase over the previous year and 2015 revenue increased by 22.6 per cent.