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NATAS Business Mission 2011 - Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, once known as The Pearl of the Indian Ocean and Ceylon, was once a favorite holiday destination for Singaporeans in the 1970’s who went there for its rich culture, pristine beaches, national parks and casinos.

The GDP of Sri Lanka was 40% during the sixties, reaching a height of 53.8% through the seventies but slashed down to a paltry 9.7% during the eighties when the country was faced with an exigency due to the civil unrest.  Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka were greatly affected due to their past civil wars and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.  However, with political stability in the last few years, Sri Lanka’s tourism gradually improved and tourist arrivals in 2010 reached 654,477.

Today, Sri Lanka offers vast opportunities for travelers to once again explore this ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’.  Charting the cause of this upbeat destination, NATAS led a 30 member trade delegation from 7 to 12 September 2011.  The group met with tourism officials as well as the travel trade at table top meetings.

During the 6-day mission, members also visited various places of interests, such as: Negombo, Dambulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya.



Facts about Sri Lanka

Country:                                     Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Gained Independence in:      04 February 1948

Administrative Capital:           Sri Jayawardhanapura, Kotte

Commercial Capital:              Colombo

Area:                                           65,610 sq km / 25, 322 sq miles

Population:                               22 million

Official Language:                   Sinhala

Currency:                                   Sri Lankan Rupees

Literacy Rate:                            89%

Religious Groups:                   Buddhist            69%

                                                     Hindu                 15.5%

Islam                  7.6%

Christian            7.5%

Others                0.1%


Topography:    Flat coastal and Northern areas

                           Hills and mountains in the Central and Southern Central areas


Average Temperature:                         Colombo            24 – 30 C

                                                                  Kandy                 20 – 29 C

                                                                  Nurwara Eliya   11 – 20 C

                                                                  Beach                 29 C


Rainfall:          March – April                   Inter Monsoon

                         May – September         South West Monsoon

                         October – November   Inter Monsoon

                         December – February  North East Monsoon

National Flower:        ‘Nil-Manel’ Flower (Blue Water Lily)

National Tree:            ‘Na’ Tree (Ceylon Iron Wood)

National Bird:              'Wali Kukula’ (Jungle Fowl)

Longest River:            Mahaweli (333 km / 207 miles)

Highest Mountain:     Pidurutalagala (2524m / 8281 ft)






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