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Sri Lankan tourism could do better: Russian envoy


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By Chathuri Dissanayake

Russia’s Ambassador Alexander Karchava yesterday asserted that Sri Lanka could do a lot better to lure tourists from his country.

Speaking at a news conference, Karchava said Sri Lanka had been unable to attract Russian tourists despite two destinations that are favoured by them, Turkey and Egypt, becoming less attractive propositions of late.

Sri Lanka, which remains a preferred destination among Russians, has not been able to capitalise on the current global political status quo, he claimed. 

“Turkey attracted four million tourists while Egypt had over 2.5 million Russians visiting on average. Since they have become less attractive, tourist numbers to Thailand have increased to hit close to 2 million in 2015. But Sri Lanka has not been able to capitalise on this,” he stated.

According to him, 70,000 Russians visited Sri Lanka last year compared to 20,000 from 2012. However, Karchava viewed this growth as being inadequate and blamed Sri Lanka’s pricing policy and service quality for the sector’s lack of growth.

“The pricing policy has to change if Sri Lanka wants to attract more Russian tourists. Thailand and Sri Lanka have similar conditions but in comparison Thailand offers more value for money than Sri Lanka. The service here is also inadequate,” he opined. 

 


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