Sri Lanka could be tourist mecca for rising Asian middle class: James Packer

Nov 13, 2013 (LBO) – Changing demographics in India and China could make Sri Lanka ‘a leading tourist mecca’ for the rising middle class in Asia, head of Crown Australia, James Packer said. Wealthy Chinese wanted luxury travel, luxury hotels, signature restaurants, quality entertainment, gaming, casinos and high-end retail, he said.

“These factors explain why Chinese tourists prefer visiting major cities, where they can enjoy these luxury experiences,” he said.

“It also explains why they are attracted to luxury integrated resorts, which meet all of their travel needs under one roof.”

Packer said Singapore had moved into integrated resorts because tourism arrivals were stagnating and they were staying for shorter period.

Rising income in Asia was creating a greater demand for leisure and luxury goods, Packer told a Commonwealth Business Forum in Colombo.

In 2000, 4 million Indians had travelled abroad. The UN World Tourism Organization had estimated that the Indian outbound market would reach 50 million by 2020 giving opportunities for her neighbors.

Packer said a rising Chinese middle class was increasingly travelling abroad. In 2000, 10 million Chinese had