National Geographic Ranks Sri Lanka At # 2 In List Of 20 Top Destinations

Published September 27th, 2010 - 03:37 GMT

Sri Lanka, the Middle East's favoured tourist destination, has been voted number 2 in a list of 20 top tourist hot spots by the National Geographic magazine website.

The magazine website described Sri Lanka as the 'resplendent isle' and underscored the natural charms of this pear-shaped island in the Indian Ocean that nearly kisses the southeast tip as "Indeed splendid."

This National Geographic website has recently awarded the island the second spot on its list of the world's 20 best tourist destinations which includes some of the most exotic and exclusive locations around the world including Bali. This latest accolade follows a recent spate of positive reviews the country has received, placing it well on the international map, according to the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau's (SLTPB) Middle East Office.

The National Geographic's countdown show included Sri Lanka's beaches; food and wildlife in addition to must see attractions such as Sigiriya as features to entice tourists to the island.

Ms. Heba Al Ghais Al Mansoori, Middle East Director of SLTPB said: "The National Geographic magazine has merely confirmed what many UAE nationals and Middle East residents knew all along that Sri Lanka is an excellent destination for recharging one's body and communing with nature and participating in more active sports."

"Sri Lanka is proud to have received such prestigious reviews from a reputable media channel such as National Geographic."

"The network, as always, carried positive features on Sri Lanka and we are regularly featured on Animal Planet as well," said Ms. Mansoori. "The National Geographic's features also included sound bites from internationally reputed travel writers for the Times, Jill Crawshaw and Editor for Wanderlust magazine, Lyn Hughes.

The SLTPB said it has been working continuously with all international media groups and with National Geographic in particularly, providing information on various facets of Sri Lanka Tourism.

The SLTPB added that as a destination, Sri Lanka is also on the threshold of being granted the status of being a 'Geo tourism' site through the National Geographic group. Expectations are that the new status will increase the number of inbound tourists, bringing in a new fast rising segment of tourists who only frequent 'Geo tourism' destinations.

The Middle East has outperformed all other regions of the world, by becoming the fastest growing source market for Sri Lanka.

"Sri Lanka is one of the best kept secrets in the world as a travel destination, especially for Middle East travellers. The food is exotic and wonderful, the people are gracious and friendly, the accommodation options are first rate and many of the sights are unparalleled anywhere in the world," said Ms. Al Mansoori.

SLTPB's Middle East office is responsible for all tourism promotional activities in the Arab markets including exhibition participation, marketing visits, presentations and road shows, advertising, brochure distribution, public relations, as well as familiarization visits to the island for influential business and travel journalists. 

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