‘Sri Lanka provides an alternative to traditional choices in South East Asia, the Pacific and even southern Africa.’
Mendis says Sri Lankan DMC Walkers Tours is finding success with bespoke and special interest tours as well as regular scheduled tours.
Remarkable Sri Lanka has also picked up representation of Asia Leisure Hotels, which has five properties currently in operation.
‘They will have a sixth hotel in Galle later this year and there is another property being developed in Colombo, plus projects in the pipeline, including the Maldives.’
He says the growing appeal of Sri Lanka is driven by the stability of the country after a long period of domestic conflict, and the subsequent opening up of more areas in the country.
‘There have been areas that have not been accessible for 30 years, that’s a massive time period to have places off limits. As a result, beaches have opened up in recent times that are in absolutely pristine condition.’
Mendis says Cinnamon Air is a local carrier that is ‘primarily an experience, not just a convenience.’
It operates three amphibian planes and has a number of landings on water – such as on the Pogolla Reservoir for arrivals in Kandy.