Since opening for foreign arrivals in Jan 2021, Sri Lanka has enjoyed a steady increase in international visitors even as lockdowns persisted. This has allowed Sri Lanka Tourism to implement and refine its health and safety protocols, which have been extremely effective. The experience garnered since the country’s gradual opening has given authorities the confidence to continue accepting foreign visitors, with the sector now in full swing. During the downtime, the country completely revamped its tourism sector with revised codes of conduct, upgraded health and safety guidelines that meet and even exceed international standards, and numerous other amenities designed especially for catering to the high-end tourism sector.
Sri Lanka Tourism has also worked closely with the government and international experts to implement new standards and international best practices. Including new operational guidelines with health protocols, an integrated system of checks and balances, as well as, resources that ensure more effective communication, better education, and ease of access to information. Sri Lanka will also continue its aggressive vaccination drive and has one of the highest rates of vaccination in the region. Well over 70% of those aged above 20 have been jabbed. Additionally, over 55% of the local population is fully vaccinated and 67% of the population has had at least one dose.
Furthermore, a third booster vaccine has been scheduled for frontline workers and those employed in the tourism sector.
The island, in all its tropical splendor, offers visitors an endless variety of memorable experiences and exotic escapades. From some of the world’s most beautiful beaches to misty mountains, tropical rainforest, and windswept plains, the island provides the sort of diversity you won't find anywhere else. In fact, it is unlikely there exists another place in the world with so much variety contained within such an accessible distance. Enjoy, for instance, the highest density of waterfalls in the world, with 350 waterfalls and 103 rivers. Over one-third of the entire country is covered by forest.
Apart from the abundance of pristine natural beauty the island also offers a unique cultural experience with arts, crafts, and cuisine that speaks to Sri Lanka's eclectic past and diverse demographic. According to the 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards, Sri Lanka ranks among ‘The Best Countries to Travel to’, voted for by Condé Nast Traveler’s readers. Other international coverage includes endorsements by CNN Travel, BBC, The Guardian, The Times, Lonely Planet, Vogue, The Telegraph, National Geographic, and Washington Post. It is easy to see why, with a list of highlights that is inexhaustible and includes 26 national parks, 8 UNESCO world heritage sites, and countless remnants from the days of colonial occupation. Journeying about the island is also quick, convenient, and cost-effective. With a wide range of transportation options available. Traffic is non-existent outside the major city centers and can be easily avoided. The recently constructed highway system also gives visitors easy access to key cities. With Colombo being just an hour away from the airport, Galle taking just over two hours, the east coast is about six hours away and Kandy takes under four hours. Though, it has been noted that taking the scenic route often makes the journey feel much shorter.
Sri Lankan Ayurveda medicine continues to garner interest from around the world, as more people become aware of the potent healing power inherent to herbs, spices, medicinal plants, and other natural alternatives. Ayurveda is strictly regulated by the government, with practitioners requiring special training and certification. The tradition is based on centuries-old indigenous knowledge and provides a holistic alternative to allopathic medicine. For visitors looking for short stays or transit, the island has several non-stop direct flights. There is also the benefit of smaller crowds, lower transit times, and expedited processes, all of which enable a safer and happier journey.
With the island being an all-year destination, special preparations are being made for the upcoming winter arrivals from Europe. With many direct flights now operating to Sri Lanka, German visitors will no doubt relish the chance to experience this tropical wonderland, with the opportunity to be among the first to arrive after the island's reopening. After all, visitors get to have paradise all to themselves and experience the island like few have before.
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