In recent years, Sri Lanka has blossomed as a tourist destination. As soon as a fierce civil war ended back in 2009, Sri Lanka opened its arms to tourism. Thousands of people soon flocked to the island and this number has grown dramatically year upon year. In 2014 alone, over 1.5 million tourists visited the island. While most visitors made the trip from India, over 135,000 visitors came from the UK, with German and French visitors constituting the 3rd and 4th largest demographics, respectfully. This indicates that Sri Lanka poses a particular allure to travellers from Western Europe. But which particular characteristics make the island so enticing?
The island abounds in natural beauty and provides an exotic destination that is increasingly easy to reach.A mere speck that juts dramatically out of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is covered in thick rainforest and huge mountains that are home to a vast array of rare wildlife. Miles of unbroken beaches, which offer world-class surf sites and phenomenal diving, border Sri Lanka. As if that wasn’t enough, Sri Lanka is home to eight incredible world heritage sites and some of the best cuisine in the world. No wonder, then, that the island has finally started to see the sort of investment it deserves. It is not hard to see why: Sri Lanka is quite literally paradise on earth and offers an exotic destination that is within easy reach from European countries, with a vast array of flight operators flying into the country daily.
The spectacular country offers an assortment of attractions that keep visitors coming.Long known as a haven for backpackers, Sri Lanka now boasts an admirable array of luxury hotels and villas, particularly around the fascinating and stunning fort of Galle. Alongside the brilliant colonial Dutch architecture and historic cricket pitches, the city has several premium spas where tourists can while away the day. There is so much history packed between the thick stone battlements that one could spend several days exploring it all, although guided tours are available for those who are limited for time. This is an artistic hotspot with dozens of tiny galleries and handicraft shops where you can both purchase locally made products and learn the local skills for yourself.
Sri Lanka is a varied and dynamic place, which has contributed to its increasing popularity.Further along the coast is the sleepy fishing town of Mirissa, which is the location of one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. From here, you can take a boat out with local fisherman or one of the more established companies, to spot whales and dolphins. If you’d rather explore on your terms then this is a fantastic spot for both surfing and diving. Just like Galle, Mirissa has several spas and retreats, as well as some renowned yoga schools where you can unwind and re-invigorate body and soul. Best of all, this stretch of the south is still virtually undiscovered by the tourist hordes.
Luxurious accommodation is increasing, a development which is being catalysed by international investment.
Deluxe Sri Lankan villas and plush hotel complexes are being constructed in increasing numbers, following changes to the taxation stipulations on foreign investments. Stella Beach Villa, Sky Villa and Villa Auraliya best exemplify the stylish, chic and contemporary architecture that is shaping the luxury scene in Sri Lanka. Resultantly, visitors to the country are also spoilt for choice in terms of indulgent entertainment options, with fine establishments being developed to cater for the influx of discerning travellers: luxury spas, such as The Fortress near Galle and Trilanka, which treats guests to Sri Lanka’s take on fine dining in an idyllic setting. It seems that the country’s heritage and culture is being shaped to cater for the increasing numbers of visitors.
Sri Lanka is a fascinating destination, rich in culture, heritage and splendour.Situated in the heart of the island, the city of Kandy is the cultural diamond in Sri Lanka’s crown. It is home to the famed Temple of the tooth, where it is rumoured that the iconic tooth relic is kept safe and secure. Kandy Lake and the Royal botanical gardens are also not to be missed during a visit. With so much to do in Sri Lanka and more and more luxurious accommodation options arising, there has never been a better time to visit this beautiful country.