Tourism In Sri Lanka
One of the best five counties for tourism in 2013. The famous explorer Marco Polo of the 12th Century wrote that Sri Lanka is the finest island in the whole world. For centuries it had been a great tourism destination particularly for European Travellers. However the 30 year long internal conflict and terrorism had a negative impact of Tourism and the growth of the industry got stagnated. However after the end of the conflict in 2009 the country’s tourism prospects look promising. In 2010 immediately after the end of the war Sri Lanka had a growth of 46% in Tourism arrivals. From 2009 to 2011 the Tourism arrivals got doubled with the number of arrivals reaching 855,975 as at end 2011. In 2012, post office worldwide holiday costs barometer named Sri Lanka as the best valued destination for holidays.
Area: 65,610 km2
Sri Lanka known officially as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent in South Asia. Known until 1972 as Ceylon, Sri Lanka has maritime borders with India to the northwest across the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Strait, and the Maldives to the southwest.
Located on major sea routes between West Asia and South East Asia, its deep natural harbours propelled Sri Lanka to great strategic importance from its time as an important stop on the ancient Silk Road through to World War II. Sri Lanka is a republic and a unitary state which is governed by a presidential system with its official seat of government in Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte.
Famed for production and export of tea, coffee, gemstones, coconuts, rubber and the native cinnamon, Sri Lanka has been called The Pearl of the Indian Ocean because of its shape and location. The island contains tropical forests, and diverse landscapes with high biodiversity. The country has one of the longest documented histories in the world, spanning three thousand years. The country is a founding member state of SAARC and a member of United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, G77 and Non-Aligned Movement.
The climate of Sri Lanka can be described as tropical and warm. Its position endows the country with a warm climate moderated by ocean winds and considerable moisture. The mean temperature ranges from about 17 °C (62.6 °F) in the central highlands, where frost may occur for several days in the winter, to a maximum of approximately 33 °C (91.4 °F) in other low-altitude areas. The average yearly temperature ranges from 28 °C (82.4 °F) to nearly 31 °C (87.8 °F). Day and night temperatures may vary by 14 °C (57.2 °F) to 18 °C (64.4 °F). Rainfall pattern of the country is influenced by monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal. The “wet zone” and some of the windward slopes of the central highlands receive up to 2,500 millimetres (98.4 in) of rain each month, but the leeward slopes in the east and northeast receive little rain. Most of the east, southeast, and northern parts of the country comprise the “dry zone”, which receives between 1,200 mm (47 in) and 1,900 mm (75 in) of rain annually. The arid northwest and southeast coasts receive the least amount of rain at 800 mm (31 in) to 1,200 mm (47 in) per year. Periodic squalls occur and sometimes tropical cyclones bring overcast skies and rains to the southwest, northeast, and eastern parts of the island. Humidity is typically higher in the southwest and mountainous areas and depends on the seasonal patterns of rainfall.
Lying within the Indomalaya ecozone, Sri Lanka is one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world. Although the country is relatively small in size, it has the highest biodiversity per 10,000 square km in Asia. Remarkably high proportion of the species among its flora and fauna, 27% of the 3,210 flowering plants and 22% of the mammals, are endemic. Sri Lanka has declared 24 wildlife reserves, which are home to a wide range of native species such as Asian elephants, leopards, sloth bears, the unique small loris, a variety of deer, the purple-faced langur, the endangered wild boar, porcupines and anteaters.
Varieties of flowering acacias are well adapted to the arid conditions and flourish on the Jaffna Peninsula. Among the trees of the dry-land forests, are some valuable species such as satinwood, ebony, ironwood, mahogany and teak. In the wet zone, the dominant vegetation of the lowlands is a tropical evergreen forest, with tall trees, broad foliage, and a dense undergrowth of vines and creepers. Subtropical evergreen forests resembling those of temperate climates flourish in the higher altitudeshe.
The Yala National Park in the southeast protects herds of elephant, deer, and peacocks, and the Wilpattu National Park, the largest national park in Sri Lanka, in the northwest preserves the habitats of many water birds, such as storks, pelicans, ibis, and spoonbills. The island has four biosphere reserves, Bundala, Hurulu Forest Reserve, the Kanneliya-Dediyagala-Nakiyadeniya, and Sinharaja. Out of these, Sinharaja forest reserve is home to 26 endemic birds and 20 rainforest species, including the elusive Red-faced Malkoha, Green-billed Coucal and Sri Lanka Blue Magpie. The untapped genetic potential of Sinharaja flora is enormous. Out of the 211 woody trees and lianas so far identified within the reserve, 139 (66%) are endemic. The Total vegetation density, including trees, shrubs, herbs and seedlings has been estimated to be around 240,000 individuals per hectare.
In addition, Sri Lanka is home to over 250 types of resident birds. It has declared several bird sanctuaries including Kumana. During the Mahaweli Program of the 1970s and 1980s in northern Sri Lanka, the government set aside four areas of land totalling 1,900 km2 (730 sq mi) as national parks. However the country’s forest cover, which was around 49% in 1920, had been fallen to approximately 24% by 2009.
Travelling to Sri Lanka
You can fly to Sri Lanka via Singapore on a daily basis where maximum flying hours is around 7hrs from Darwin.
The most popular air lines to Sri Lanka:
- Sri Lankan airline (one of the best serviced air lines)
- Singapore airline
- Cathay Pacific
- Air India
- Mihin Air
- Air India express(budget career)
- Tiger airways (budget carrier)
From air port
You can book a vehicle on arrival from government (safest) or private transfer services http://www.srilankaairporttransfer.com/
You can also now travel from and to the air port by train.
Travelling within Sri Lanka
Tourist cars and coaches (most popular)
Taxi and three wheelers (best to use metered taxi and metered three weelers)
Buses (private and government)
Train (one of the most popular for tourists)
Planes and Sea planes
Popular tourist destination