Sri Lanka tourism urges Europeans to ignore bad media reports

June 10, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tourism chief is urging European businessmen to ignore negative media reports in their home countries that highlight the island’s human rights record and may lose them investment opportunities. The Indian Ocean Island is experiencing a boom in tourists and leisure industry related-developments, three-years after government forces ended the decades long conflict with ethnic Tami Tiger separatists.

Many international chains have put down cash to build hotels and resorts across the tropical island, while the government sets about building infrastructure to support the tourism boom.

Nalaka Godahewa, who heads Sri Lanka’s Tourism Development Authority said while European businessmen pass-up an opportunity to invest in Sri Lanka, Chinese and Indian investors have moved in to fill the void.

“Ours is a virgin market. Unfortunately what’s happening is the Europeans are holding back,” Godahewa was quoted in an interview with a British newspaper.

“They’re listening to all these media stories talking about a problem in Sri Lanka

Human Rights

Western governments have often been critical of Sri Lanka human rights record, particularly the way the island handled the f