A total of 2,098,985 people visited the Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, Hakgala and Gampaha last year – the highest number of visitors recorded in the history of the department, said Dr. Cyril Wijesundhara , Director General of National Botanical Gardens.
The number included 1,862,222 local visitors and 236,763 foreigners. The number of foreign visitors showed a 12.6% increase when compared to previous year’s figure (210,949).
Total revenue earned by the Botanical Gardens from admission fees, plant sales, rents, etc. amounted to Rs. 353.4 million – a 96.7% increase of revenue compared to the previous year (Rs. 179.6 m) for the similar period.
The revenue earned from visitors to the garden amounted to Rs. 329 m and revenue earned from other sources was Rs. 24.4 m. Meanwhile, the Department of National Zoological Gardens earned Rs. 651 million in income during 2011. This consisted of Rs. 163 million rupees from the Dehiwala Zoo, Rs. 487 million from the Elephant Orphanage and Rs. 16 million from other sources of income. This is the highest-ever income recorded in the history of the Department of National Zoological Gardens, according to Director Bhashwara Senanka Gunarathne.
The National Botanical Gardens Department and Zoological Department together earned Rs. 1 billion last year. There were 1,689,712 and 463,982 local visitors and 20,396 and 2,438,541 of foreign visitors to the Dehiwala Zoo and the Elephant Orphanage respectively. According to Gunarathne, this was the highest-ever number of visitors to have visited the Zoological Gardens.