Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sri Lanka poised to become Paradise Isle again

CHENNAI: The Paradise Isle of Sri Lanka is once again beckoning Indian tourists. Travel and tour companies and airlines are optimistic that the flow
of tourists, which dipped considerably after the LTTE's air wing attacked Colombo airport in 2001, will improve.

"Now, only traders travel daily to Sri Lanka from Chennai, apart from some corporate travellers. All are waiting and watching to see how the post-war situation will develop. If there is likely to be a backlash to the defeat of the LTTE, then people will not travel immediately," said an Air India official.

Airlines consider the Chennai-Colombo route a lucrative one because the flights go full due to the fact that several small-time traders source products from the island nation.

Every day, Jet Airways, Air India, Air India Express, and Sri Lankan as well as the recently-introduced Kingfisher Airlines operate services to Colombo from Chennai. A majority of the more than 600 seats available are occupied by traders and "kuruvis" who fly there to bring in liquor.

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