Colombo, April 23 (IANS) Sri Lanka has revised its tourist arrival target to one million and is planning to upgrade services for tourists following a 21.1-percent rise in numbers in the first quarter of the year, a minister said here Monday.
Sri Lanka’s post-war tourism boom looks set to continue for the third consecutive year with the first three months bringing in 21.1 percent more tourists than in 2011, reported Xinhua.
The government has decided to increase the initial target of 950,000 tourists to one million following the positive numbers so far in 2012, said Economic Development Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana.
“We also predict that the revenue earned from tourism will hit $1 billion this year,” he added.
The Sri Lankan government is also planning to establish police units in 10 areas frequented by tourists around the country.
Specially trained policemen speaking several foreign languages will be deployed at these units, he said, to safeguard travellers and provide them with a hassle-free stay.
In the first three months of the year, Sri Lanka has attracted 260,525 foreign visitors and revenue has jumped 28.5 percent to $174.5 million in January and February, according to the Tourism Development Board.