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Sri Lanka anticipates 10 times more cruise visitors this year

SRI Lanka is readying itself for a surge in cruise arrivals – from 4,000 last year to more than 50,000 this year.

  11/05/2012 10:50

The country is expecting 23 to 25 cruise liners in 2012, said Indrajith Fernando, deputy director marketing, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau. The bureau is promoting Sri Lanka by taking part in tradeshows and preparing DVDs on the country for visitors.

FTI Berlin, a liner service promoted by Diethelm Travel Sri Lanka, will bring in 4,000 tourists during the coming winter season.

Sailing from Dubai via India, FTI Berlin make five calls at the Colombo hub, said Abbas Esufally, chairman, Diethelm Travel Sri Lanka. Embarking and disembarking passengers — about 400 each way — will have the option of spending between three to seven days Sri Lanka, unlike other liners that usually make a one-day/night stop, he added.

Abbas said: “There is a huge (potential) for cruise liner tourism and we hope the FTI Berlin will be a catalyst for other luxury liners.”

Other luxury liners calling at Sri Lanka’s shores this year include the QE2 with 1,890 passengers from the UK, Australia, South Africa, Japan and France; the Oceania Nautica with 700 passengers; the Arcadia with 2,100 passengers from New Zealand and Brazil; and the Costa Deliziose with 2,150 passengers.

(Source: TTG Asia)

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