Sri Lanka botanical gardens see explosion of visitors after war

Sept 09, 2010 (LBO) – A botanical garden in Sri Lanka’s central province has seen a steep increase in foreign and local visitors following the end of a war, and the government is upgrading visitor facilities. Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, in the Central Province has seen 107,000 foreign visitors in the first seven month of 2010 compared with an average of 25,000 from 2005 to 2009, a note to cabinet by economic development minister Basil Rajapaksa said.

Local visitors had increased to 633,210 in the first seven months compared to an average of about 200,000 from 2005 to 2009.

The economic development ministry had received approval from the cabinet of ministers to spend 60 million to build modern toilets for tourists, new ticket officers and facilities for disabled visitors.

Existing facilities are around 50 years old, the note said.

The Peradeniya gardens have a long history dating back to the time of Kandyan Kings but it was a built into a scientifically managed botanical garden after Sri Lanka came under British rule.