The government initiatives in development of tourism date back to 1937 when the Ceylon Tourist Bureau was established.However, it was closed down in September 1939 due to World War II. After Sri Lanka’s independence the promotion of tourism was again considered by re-establishing the Ceylon Tourist Board which took over the function of the Tourist Bureau. More formal recognition for the country’s tourism sector was given with the enactment of Act No. 10 of 1966.This provided the legislation for the establishment of Ceylon Tourist Board. Since then the Ceylon Tourist Board has functioned as the state agency, responsible for development and promotion of the tourism sector in Sri Lanka.
When the government decided to develop the tourism sector as a separate sector of the country’s economy by establishing the Ceylon Tourist Bureau in 1966, there were 18,969 foreign tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka. There was an upward trend of tourist arrivals until 1982, with the exception of 1971. Between 1976 and 1982, tourist arrivals had increased 24% per year. The tourist traffic in 1982 showed that there was a remarkable growth in number of tourists, with 407,230 arrivals.However, with the beginning of the civil war in 1983, the growth of tourist arrivals declined and stagnated to around 300,000 – 500,000 arrivals annually.
Tourist attractions are classifiable as natural or anthropogenic. Natural attractions include nature spots, flora and fauna, and places with a pleasant climate. Geotourism sites may also be included in this category. Anthropogenic attractions include archaeological and cultural attractions, historical and religion sites, performing arts and folklore, handicrafts and artifacts.Sri Lanka is also a land of staggering contrast and spectacular beauty due to its compactness.Along the coast, visitors can explore amazing beaches, safari tours, guided walks through ancient cities, experience the culture and bit of modern Sri Lanka.We welcome you to find your unique Sri Lankan travel experience.
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