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Sri Lanka to woo Indian tourists

By T. S. Shankar

CHENNAI, JAN. 19. The Sri Lanka Tourist Board has embarked on an India-specific tourism promotion campaign to attract Indians to visit the island nation.

Giving details of the campaign after the recent tsunami devastation, Madhubhani Perera, Assistant Director Marketing of the Board, said while as many as 25 star category hotels suffered serious damages, efforts were on to refurbish them at the earliest.

Ms. Perera, who was here to participate in a travel-trade outbound road show, explained that the Board would be participating in more road shows.

The Sri Lankan Government, she said, had agreed to provide duty free concessions for the hoteliers to import water sports equipment that were damaged during the tsunami. Ms.Perera said the present arrangement of "visa on arrival" would continue as this system had not only caught on well among the globetrotters but also facilitated more tourists to visit Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority along with Air Mauritius, is also targeting the Indian travel market. ", We want to woo the Indian travel market, especially the meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition sector," said Vijaye Haulder, Tourism Promotion Manager of the Authority.

Rajesh Busgeet, Regional Manager-South India of Air Mauritius, said the airline had already approached the Indian Government for more "traffic rights" to help augment its operations to India.

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