Sri Lanka draws French ‘treasure hunters’ in tourism promotion

Oct 08, 2007 (LBO) – French travel agents are visiting Sri Lanka on a tourism promotion which includes what’s billed as a treasure hunt where they search for clues and discover the island’s hidden charms, the Tourist Board said Monday. Sri Lanka received 559,603 visitors the whole of last year. The visit by over 40 French travel agents and journalists comes with the French Foreign Ministry’s complete lifting of a travel ban on Sri Lanka that was prompted by an escalation in the ethnic war.

Most travel advisories in key tourism generating markets in Europe have already been relaxed and the tourism office hopes Australia and Canada too will follow suit, Mudadeniya said.

Tourist arrivals from the countries with relaxed advisories have already picked up and traffic that was supposed to reach Myanmar has started to flow to the island, tourism officials said.

The one week visit by the French group will consist of familiarization tours and events such as cycling, trekking, canoeing and walking.

With the group are five journalists from France, Dileep Mudadeniya, Additional Director, and Tourism Promotional Bureau told LBO.

The promotiona