Tourism in Sri Lanka

Kitulgala, where the Academy Award-winning "The Bridge on the River Kwai" was filmed, affords a rare opportunity for tourists.

Tourism is one of the main industries in Sri Lanka. Major tourist attractions are focused around the island's famous beaches located in the southern and eastern parts of the country, ancient heritage sites located in the interior of the country and lush green resorts located in the mountainous regions of the country.[1][2] A large majority of tourists come from the United States, the United Kingdom,[3] Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Maldives, Japan, The People's Republic of China, and India.

Visitor attractions

Sri Lanka is home to seven world heritage sites: Galle, Kandy, Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruva, Dambulla cave temple and Lion King Singahraja tropical rain forest.[4]

Furthermore three prime ecological sites in the central highlands[5] of Sri Lanka were submitted by Secretary, Ministry and Natural Resources of Sri Lanka to UNESCO on 20 March 2006. As at present these sites appear on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites:Peak Wilderness Sanctuary (19,207 ha),Horton Plains[6] (3 109 ha) and Knuckles Range (1 7,825 ha).

In addition to above mixed (culture and nature) sites the ancient cultural site of Seruwila Mangala Raja Maha Vihar at the village of Toppur, Koddiyar Pattu of Trincomalee District of Eastern Province of Sri Lanka was submitted to[7] UNESCO by the government of Sri Lanka on 30 October 2006.

Sri Lanka's many beaches are often visited by tourists. The historical city of Colombo is considered as the "Commercial capitol of Sri Lanka" which attracts many tourists from Asian region to visit for businesses. National parks in Sri Lanka are also popular visitor attractions. Tourists are also attracted to Sri Lanka by its natural beauty.

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