Sri Lanka to launch Ramayana Trail for India
Rituparna Chatterjee – Mumbai
Sri Lanka is all set to launch the Ramayana Trail for the India market in June, 2015 with a view to attract more Indian tourists into the country. This decision was taken after prime minister of India, Narendra Modi’s recent visit. Speaking about this, Saroja Sirisena, consul general, Consulate General of Sri Lanka, Mumbai – India, opined, “The Ramayana Trail had been in existence for a while but we never promoted it aggressively and now we are launching it formally in India in June. We will group together all the sights related to Ramayana and will develop packages around it. We will organise workshops in Ahmedabad and Mumbai in June to promote it. The Ramayana Trail will cover half the country – the central part going down to the southern coast. We will also customise the packages depending upon the requirements of the travellers.” The Ramayana Trail will focus on important sites with links to Ramayana, including Ramboda, Nuwara Eliya, Ella, Galle, Chilaw, Mannar, etc.
Last year, Sri Lanka welcomed approximately a quarter of a million Indians and the Ramayana Trail is expected to boost the numbers further. Europe, UK, Germany are some of the major source markets for Sri Lanka with India ranking second in the list. “India has displaced other countries as its numbers have increased. We issue around 400-500 visas a month from Mumbai itself,” added Sirisena. Apart from the Ramayana Trail, dolphin and whale watching in the southern and north-western coast of Sri Lanka is also being actively promoted in the India market.