Botham's all out to boost Sri Lanka tourism

13th Jun 2013

Sri Lanka hopes to bowl over would-be tourists - with the help of cricket legend Sir Ian Botham.

The country's tourism leaders aim to further boost awareness of what Sri Lanka has to offer with the announcement of a 160-mile (257.4km) walk involving the former England all-rounder turned Sky Sports commentator.

Sir Ian, 57, will undertake the eight-day journey from Mankulum to Seenigama - leaving fans of trekking holidays doubtless keen to emulate him - to raise funds for children's charity Foundations for Goodness.

Beefy's Big Sri Lanka Walk is one of several community projects to encourage greater awareness to the north of the country, led by sports charity Laureus.

Sri Lanka's sporting attractions, especially loved by England Test fans on cricket-related specialist tours, are strong lures for British holidaymakers.

Sri Lanka Tourism's Don Nalin Perara told Travel Daily the country saw a 7.7% rise in British visitors to 140,000 last year and has already seen 15% growth in the first third of 2013.

He added: "We have seen more interest from little operators and travel agents as they are specialists. They are asking for more brochures and information and is definitely our biggest growth area."

Its stunning beach resorts, including Apa Villa Thalpe, Saman Villas and the Galle Fortress Resort, make this country even more appealing.

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