Sri Lanka Vacations, Holiday Tour Packages, Travel deals to Sri Lanka | Exotic Lanka Holidays

We are the no.1 Australian Travel Agent to Sri Lanka

Select a Travel deal, guided tours or a Holiday tour package for your vacation trip to Sri Lanka

Call us 1300 374 734

Lonely Planet recommends Sri Lanka as the top 2013 destination

04 Nov 2012 – Lonely Planet has suggested Sri Lanka as top 2013 destination to travel. The untouched destination is full of history, culture, beach, tranquillity and value for money. Come explore “Sri Lanka” an island full of friendly and cheerful people.

Sri Lanka Tourism achieves record-breaking 750,000 arrivals in 2011

Achieving another remarkable milestone in the country’s booming tourism industry, Sri Lanka Tourism welcomed the arrival of  750,000th tourist in year 2011 at the Bandaranaike International Airport today (24th Nov.) evening. This is the first time ever; the tourism industry has received number of arrivals exceeding 700,000 mark in any given year making it a ground breaking figure in tourism records. A team of officials from Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau and representatives from Ministry of Economic Development welcomed the guest Mr.Mohomad Albordiny and wife(Palestinian) who arrived to Sri Lanka via  QR 302 flight from Doha at 4:15 p.m.

During year 2010 , total number of tourist arrivals recorded was 654,476 nos. as opposed  to 750,000 so far, which is a 34.2% annual growth. This year has seen a huge contribution from Latin American, Caribbean & western European  countries including Austria, Belgium,Denmark ,France Netherland, UK and Germany. These regions alone have attracted 250, 847 tourists sharing a major portion out of the 750,000 arrivals recorded so far.

Sri Lanka Tourism offered a special gift and a complimentary package to the tourist arrived today keeping its promise of rewarding the 750,000th tourist and similar rewards were available for the 250,000th 500,000th , 600,000th tourist  who visited Sri Lanka in the year 2011.

At the beginning of year 2011 Sri Lanka Tourism launched their marketing campaign named as “Refreshingly Sri Lanka – Visit 2011”,with the aim of showcasing Sri Lanka as an Island of new found freedom ; a place where the visitor can experience everything that is refreshing under the sun .With this new branding , Sri Lanka tourism  promoted 8 segments encapsulating 8 wonderful experiences which a tourist can enjoy within eight days such as: Pristine ,Heritage ,Bliss, Thrills, Festivities, Essence, Scenic beauty and Wild Life. These eight experiences were further stretched into twelve sub-themes to promote each month of 2011, including beaches, sports & adventure, MICE, people & culture, religious tourism, weddings & honeymoons, body & mind wellness, heritage, nature & wildlife, community & education, culinary and shopping & entertainment.

Sri Lanka Tourism’s aim with this campaign was to amalgamate domestic and international markets alike into one cohesive platform to develop these products by the end of the year, promoting Sri Lanka as a destination that can offer refreshing experiences for anyone who visit it . All promotional activities and events in the next couple of years will be aimed at achieving the target number of 2.6 million tourists by 2016.

New southern highway opens in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s first ever access controlled expressway from Kottawa to Pinnaduwa (Galle) was ceremonially opened by His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapakse on 27th of November 2011. The length of this section is 96km and newly constructed Galle Port access road of length 5km will connect this Expressway to the Galle city. The expected travel time from Kottawa to Pinnaduwa (Galle) when this expressway is used about one hour.

The section from Galle to Matara of length 35km is under construction and scheduled to be completed by 2013. There are plans to extend the Southern Expressway up to Hambantota connecting Mattala International Airport which is being constructed.  The length of this section will be 75km and surveys are being done to acquire land for this section of the Expressway.

Nano cab service starts in Colombo, Sri Lanka

10 June 2011 – A city taxi service using Tata Nano cars has started in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, but the firm cannot cope with demand for hires and is awaiting shipments from India to expand the fleet, an official said.

“We started with 25 cars and another shipment is expected in July,” co-founder of NanoCabs, Jayantha Dharmadasa told LBO.

“We hope to increase the fleet to 100 by the end of the year.”

Tata claims the car is the world’s cheapest car at around 3,000 US dollars, but in Sri Lanka the basic model costs around 925,000 rupees or 8,400 dollars.

In Sri Lanka ordinary people have to pay high taxes for cars, but state workers get tax slashed cars and rulers get completely tax free cars.

Dharmadasa said the Nano car costs about 1.2 million rupees or 10,900 dollars. The firm runs air conditioned cars fitted with taxi meters, a GPS tracking system and credit card readers, pushing the cost of the car to around 1.5 million rupees.

Dharmadasa said he and his brother-in-law, Anura Gunadasa founded the company as tourist arrivals picked up after the end of a 30-year war, and he expected more demand for cabs.

“The Colombo city is also being modernized so we thought it was time to start a modern safe cab service which was also economical,” he said.

But Dharmadasa says the firm can hardly cope with demand from local customers, with some corporate clients keeping the car the whole day.

The fare starts from 50 rupees a kilometre for the first five kilometres and falls. After 10 kilometres the price falls to a little over 30 rupees, Dharmadasa said.

Dharmadasa said the firm was hiring drivers and training them on making sure the clients are kept safe and treated courteously.

Thilanga Sumpathipala, a member of a local body representing the Borella district, where the cab service is based says the firm is providing jobs to both men and women in his area, lifting the gender barrier.

Taxi drivers are almost entirely male in Sri Lanka. The country’s most popular taxis are three wheelers also imported from India. There are also cab companies using cars or vans but not all of them have meters.

Sri Lanka and Maldives makes plans to jointly promote tourism

10 April 2011 – Recent tourism boom in Sri Lanka has given Sri Lanka the opportunity to work with Maldives to promote tourism in both countries.

Sri Lankan and Maldivian tour operators and hoteliers are currently in the process of making arrangements to work conjointly in order to introduce tour packages by giving tourists the opportunity to visit both destinations.

The joint promotion of tourism in both countries comes in the backdrop of a meeting held last month in Colombo between the Maldives’ Tourism Minister, Dr. Maryam Zulfa, and Sri Lanka’s Economic Development Minister, Basil Rajapaksa.

Tony Greig – Sri Lanka Tourism ambassador

12 March 2011 – Former England Cricket Captain and commentator Tony Greig was appointed Sri Lanka Tourism ambassador for a six-month period.

Greig, one of the greatest all-rounders in the cricketing world, has always been known as a lover of Sri Lanka and has done his fair share of work promoting the island.

Greig will promote Sri Lanka in the ongoing ICC World Championships as well as the IPL matches in India.

Acting Managing Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Malraj Kiriella stated that thanks to the World Cup matches being played in Sri Lanka, almost all hotels had recorded 90 per cent or even 100 per cent occupancy in both Colombo and Kandy. The Bureau has taken its chances and has placed billboards with tourist attractions of Sri Lanka in the cricket stadiums which would host the World Cup matches.

New ambassador Tony Greig said “he will do his very best to uplift Sri Lankan tourism.” He pointed out that it won’t be difficult to gain that target with the good hospitality Sri Lanka has.

12 Themes to Promote Sri Lanka Tourism

09 January 2011 – Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau has planned to implement an extensive tourism promotion campaign under 12 themes in 12 months of this year. The bureau will promote country’s beautiful beaches in January. Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says coastal area conservation programmes, seminars, beach festivities, boat competitions and many other promotional activities will take place during the month.

The Deputy Minister was speaking at the inaugural programme at Wadduwa beach yesterday. The government hopes to attract 700 thousand tourists to Sri Lanka under the “visit Sri Lanka” programme. The Deputy Minister also noted that the government will ink agreements with 7 countries to commence new air services in coming months. Under the new online visa issuing programme, a large number of foreigners benefit all over the world. Chairman of the bureau, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa was also present at the event.

Visit Sri Lanka 2011

03 January 2011 – Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau, organised a special ceremony on New Year’s Eve at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake to welcome the first tourists coming into the country, in 2011.

These visitors who arrived in the early hours of the morning on Saturday, were welcomed by Lakshman Yapa Abeywardhana, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism and Malraj Kiriella, Acting Managing Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau along with the heads of the tourism and travel trade .

Further the traditional drummers and dancers made a breathtaking performance welcoming the tourists, who were then garlanded and offered surprise gifts.The incoming tourists were invited to a traditional sweetmeats buffet table with kiribath and kavum and also to light the traditional oil lamp on 1 January 2011.

Visit Sri Lanka 2011 was declared by President Mahinda Rajapaksa after attaining peace in the country
Sri Lanka Tourism is set to achieve the target of 700,000 tourists in 2011 with the launch of Visit Sri Lanka Year.

Colombo City Tour

07 January 2010 – The first ever open deck city tour takes off on Sunday 24th January,2010 from Galle Face Hotel premises. Hon. Achala Suranga Jagoda, Minister of Tourism, will be the chief guest at the launching ceremony. Both Visiting foreign and local tourists along with the invitees will participate in this inaugural journey. This tour is a new product launch of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority in public- private partnership with Ebert Silva Holidays (Pvt.) Ltd. The city tour will be operated initially on Sundays. As time goes by the number of days will be increased. “We are on the threshold of a new era in travel and tourism in Sri Lanka. This will be a great experience for the tourists visiting the city of Colombo. We have come out of a dark era and foresee a golden age for Sri Lanka tourism” opined Mr.K.A.D George Michael, Secretary Ministry of Tourism. The tour will commence at the Galle Face Hotel premises at 08.30hrs and en route collect passengers at points in front of leading hotels in Salve Island and Fort. The seven hour tour would include the important attractions in Colombo City and Sri Jayewardenepura, Kotte. There will be live commentaries on all surrounding attractions by a professional guide in English. Information leaflets will be made available in important foreign languages and in local languages in addition to English. The open deck bus hired from the Sri Lanka Transport Board will give passengers a panoramic view of the city of Colombo, old and new. “Research have shown that the Colombo is the most popular place of attraction, and introduction of this service has been a long-felt need and will enable many foreign visitors embark on a journey that covers the best in Colombo with less cost and time.” said Malraj B. Kiriella, Director, International Relations and Research, who spearheaded the project. The visiting sites would include historic Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Islamic religious sites, colonial heritages sites, Independence Square, National Museum and “Janakala Kendraya” (national arts and crafts centre in Battaramulla). The entire sightseeing would include most of the attractions in Colombo and in Sri Jayewardenepura, Kotte. The bus is decorated depicting attractions of Colombo. The specially designed logo “Colombo City Tour” includes frangipani flowers to emphasizing its connectivity with the city of Colombo and serendipity. The organizers have worked out a special introductory rate for Sri Lankan adults and children at Rs.950.00 and Rs.500.00 respectively, which includes lunch, refreshments and entrance fees. Ms.Rajini de Silva Mendis, Managing Director, Ebert Silva said “ We are happy to join hands with the public sector on this initiative and hope to offer customers an unforgettable experience with our years of experience in the field”.

Site by eBlix