Travel Lanka - Silver Jubilee in service to Tourism

Travel Lanka – Tourist Information Guide - Pace Publishers, Kalapaluwawa, Rajagiriya


Reviewed by

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

The Tourism Industry in Sri Lanka keeps expanding, and is now the major contributor of foreign exchange to the national economy. It is a widening source of employment and an important field in the development strategies of the country. Tourism is now a key aspect of economic growth in the South Asian region, bringing new a competitive demand to the Sri Lankan Tourism Industry.

This success of Tourism is very largely due to the role of publicity, an integral need for the growth of Tourism. A country known to the world for centuries through trade with the East and West, and as a centre of Buddhist cultural and civilization tradition, went through nearly 500 years of western colonialism, too. Sri Lanka achieved independence 70 years ago in 1948, and moved into modern Tourism with the passage of the Ceylon Tourist Board Act in 1966. In the 52 years since then, different sectors of the Tourism Industry have achieved remarkable success – with Travel Trade, Hotel Industry, Sports and Recreation, and Tourism Facilitation, making remarkable progress. Travel Lanka has moved steadily with this progress, shared the burdens of difficult years, and contributing to the success that has followed.

Travel Lanka offers the best way to decide on a holiday destination and planning one’s holiday. What began as a regular book now has digital access on the Internet too, with best opportunities for holiday planning. Print and digital facilities, give visitors the necessary information from the time a holiday in Sri Lanka is planned, to when it is enjoyed in this beautiful Indian Ocean Island.

Information and publicity, a key aspect of the industry, has played an essential role in its growth through the past six decades. Today, Travel Lanka, celebrating its 25th Anniversary, stands out as the outstanding publication that supported the Tourism Industry, through its periods of success and difficulty, and remains the tourism publication with the widest regular reach, and Internet access too, giving continued service to a steadily expanding industry. It is clearly the monthly Information Digest on Sri Lanka, for the Tourist and the Tourism Industry.

The growth of Tourism saw the arrival of more than 2 million visitors in 2017, and by end July this year arrivals had exceeded 1,200,000. Travel Lanka has served for almost half the 52 years of the formal Tourism Industry in Sri Lanka. It provides the most up-to-date information to visitors, updated monthly, on all visitor attractions such as such as accommodation – from hotels, guesthouses, home stay, Eco-tourism and Nature Resorts; to restaurants, shopping, entertainment, sports and recreation facilities. It serves the needs and answers queries of visitors from countries far and wide.

Its 25-year record has seen Travel Lanka move with the ups and downs of Tourism in the country. The most remarkable in this record is its uninterrupted publication during the worst years for the Industry, at the height of the war of terrorism and separation, for nearly two decades. Yet the publisher of Travel Lanka continued to provide the Tourism Promotion Bureau and hotels with the publication at no cost, managing its publication with much depleted advertising support, and commitment to the Industry. This service to the industry through shared hardship, when many in tourism sought other investments, marks its dedication to the sustenance and growth of Tourism, and assistance to the Tourist.

Travel Lanka continues with this commitment in its range of information to the visitor. The material in each monthly issue is topical with informative articles, good photographs and illustrations of interest to the reader, elegant and pleasing advertising, with the best and most up-to-date information to visitors backed by maps and guides to tourist locations, whether in the ancient cities, the beaches, centres of the colonial era, and wildlife, too. Moving to digital communication Travel Lanka now has its website -, enabling those planning visits to Sri Lanka to obtain information well in advance, with advice, tips and information, updated every month. The monthly access to exceeds 35,000 searches, and rising.

Travel Lanka brings out its publisher Piyaratne Hewabattage’s love for tourism, from when he was the first Creative Production Officer of the Ceylon Tourist Board in the 1960s, when he designed most of the early publications on modern tourism in Sri Lanka. He began service under the first Editor, the celebrated Neville Weeraratne, winning many prizes from PATA and other international tourism development organizations. The design and production of Travel Lanka show the continuing skill of this international prizewinner in creative art, print design and publication.

The publication moves on with the growth of the Tourism Industry to present all its new aspects, is emerging as the fastest growing Tourism market in South Asia, and as a very competitive Tourism location in Asia. The new geo-political changes in the region, and importance of Tourism as a key aspect of Regional Growth, brings new challenges to a publication able to meet the new demands, with creativity and content.

As it marks this 25th Anniversary, Travel Lanka stands out as the most comprehensive and up-to-date information publication- both print and digital - on and for Tourism in Sri Lanka, enriching its record of contribution to the growth of the Tourism Industry; taking over the new challenges of a vastly expanding and increasingly diverse and colourful industry.

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