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Sri Lanka-Nepal should enjoy bigger market share in the region – NATTA Secretary

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By Harischandra Gunaratna

The Nepal Tour and Travel Agents Association members who visited Sri Lanka recently on a promotional visit were quite optimistic that the two countries could market its tourism product with aggressive and innovative campaigns.

Acting secretary of the Association Jiswan Thuladhar Shreshta told The Island: “Though, initially our mission was to promote Nepal as a destination in Sri Lanka, however on seeing the positive response and the overwhelming enthusiasm shown by the travel agents here to promote the country as a destination in Nepal, we are wholeheartedly supporting the move.

She was of the opinion that with a “Concerted effort Sri Lanka and Nepal should enjoy a bigger market share in tourist arrivals in the region with aggressive promotions and innovative thinking.”

She said, ‘It was a totally a successful and a mutually beneficial business mission’.

Jiswan said Nepal had more than mountains to offer to tourists who desired adventure travel, a luxury honeymooners paradise and the country was essentially a pilgrims’ destination with a number of key Buddhist sites and Lumbini, the birth place of Buddha being the focal point.

She said that during the last three years approximately 1,225,000 tourists had visited Nepal and the tourism authorities there expected the number to increase with the easing of travel restrictions due to the pandemic.

The senior travel agent said Sri Lanka was blessed with all the key ingredients required to become a top tourist destination in the region and with aggressive promotions and a hands-on approach it could be achieved.

During her visit here, Jiswan visited the beaches and the hill country and said she was highly impressed with the cleanliness of the hotels, warm hospitality and the exotic cuisine.

Nilmin Nanayakkara, Chairman/Managing Director, Nkar Travels and Tours (Pvt) Ltd, the livewire behind the visit of the Nepalese travel agents to Sri Lanka said, that the meetings the members of the IATA agents Association of Sri Lanka and the Travel Agents Association of Sri Lanka had with their Nepalese counterparts were quite successful “and we need to get cracking from here”.

Nanayakkara, a veteran travel agent, said hitherto the biggest obstacle both countries faced was non-availability of direct flights and now that SriLankan Airlines was operating four flights a week ­– Colombo-Kathmandu-Colombo – more holidaymakers would make use of that opportunity.



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Holy month of Ramadan begins for Muslims around the world

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A Palestinian girl cleans the stone floor of the compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary in front of the Dome of the Rock, as part of preparations for the holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem's Old City (pic Aljazeera)

Aljazeera reported that the holy month of Ramadan began at sundown on Wednesday, as the faithful prepared for a month of dawn-to-dusk fasting intended to bring them closer to God and to remind them of the suffering of those less fortunate.

For the next 30 days, Muslims will refrain from eating or drinking anything from sunrise to sunset. Many will strictly observe prayers, read the Quran and donate to charity as they seek to draw closer to God. They are also encouraged to refrain from cursing, fighting, gossiping and road rage throughout the holy month.

Muslims believe God began revealing the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad during Ramadan more than 1,400 years ago.

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam and is required for all Muslims, though exceptions are made for young children and the sick, as well as women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or menstruating. Travelers are also exempt, including athletes attending tournaments away from home.

 

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Sri Lanka will have best anti-corruption law in South Asia soon – President

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe said during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat with the heads of media organization on Thursday (23),  that  necessary steps will be taken to pass the best anti-Corruption Act in South Asia in Parliament soon

The President revealed that cabinet approval for the Bill has already been granted and said that he will discuss it with the Opposition representatives in the future and present it to the Parliament.

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Public sector will stop engaging in business and open it to the private sector in the future – President

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe said that due to the public sector engaging in business activities, the money that was available for the construction of 100 projects similar to the Mahaweli during the past decades, has been lost and  noted that in the future, the public sector will stop engaging in business and open it to the private sector to create a free and productive economy.

President Wickremesinghe mentioned this at the 71st commemoration ceremony of the late Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake at Independence Square on Wednesday (22).

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