Middle east tourists to Sri Lanka surge by 85 per cent | world | Hindustan Times
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Middle east tourists to Sri Lanka surge by 85 per cent

world Updated: Jul 31, 2009 15:41 IST
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Holidaymakers to Sri Lanka from the Middle East have surged 85 per cent following the end of the civil war between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels, which ended in May this year after 25 years.

According to Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau's (SLTPB), travellers from Saudi Arabia and the UAE are leading the travel resurgence from the region. Qatar, Oman, Lebanon and Egypt also contributing significantly to the overall growth in tourist numbers.

"The month of June has seen exceptional growth with travelers from Saudi Arabia and UAE leading the resurgence to post extraordinary growth during the month of June with Saudi travelers up by 186 per cent and UAE travelers up by 181 per cent compared to the same month last year," SLTPB's Middle East director, Heba Al Ghais Al Mansoori said.

Mansoori, further added, "We are confident that this growth will be sustained and we hope to better our numbers during the Eid break and year-end through sustained promotional efforts."

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans displaced by war are still confined to military-run camps.