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Lanka keen on India-Lanka-Maldives tourism package

With the Sri Lankan government planning to adopt a `open sky` policy by 2005, the island nation is making all efforts…

With the Sri Lankan government planning to adopt a `open sky` policy by 2005, the island nation is making all efforts to try and project India-Sri Lanka-Maldives as a combined tourism package for the western travellers.

We have almost reached an agreement with the Maldives government on the issue of joint marketing on the tourism front and official level talks are going on with India, Sri Lankan Tourism Minister Gamini Lokuge told reporters here.

Once we reach and understanding between all the three countries and prepare a road map one can easily sell the India-Sri Lanka-Maldives zone as a tourism package to European and Americans, he said.

Lokuge was speaking at the reception of Indian visitors who arrived here by Air Sahara`s maiden foreign sojourn. The chartered non-revenue flight of the airliner was a first every international tour by any private operator of the country.

The company plans to have regular flights to the island nation and is waiting for necessary clearance from the Indian Government.

Pointing out that regional tourism was very important for Sri Lanka, Lokuge said the tourism inflow from India has shown an 100 per cent increase in the last two years and would surely go up once private airliners also starting coming from there.

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