Sri Lanka’s image tarnished by irresponsible media publicity as a trouble-hit country should be changed. This will make Sri Lanka a number one tourist destination among Japanese people who are fond of travelling abroad, said Stuko Onodera, a Japanese tourist who was in Sri Lanka last week.
Japanese select Hawaii and Guam as their favourite tourist destinations. If Sri Lanka projects its real image and its beauty to them they may choose Sri Lanka as their best tourist destination, she said.
When we travel to the South it is difficult to realise that those cities were affected by the tsunami devastation, she said. The appearance of the cities, houses and the people do not reflect the tragedy, she said.
The Japanese tourists from Chiba prefecture spent sixteen days in Sri Lanka, and visited most of the places of tourist attractions such as Kandy, Dambulla, Nuwara Eliya, Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Hambantota, Matara and Galle. They met media personnel last Friday at the Galle Face Hotel to express their views on Sri Lanka as a tourist destination. Stuko Onodera said that they were impressed by the discipline of Sri Lankans at religious places.
Sri Lanka is one of the safest and best tourist destination, she said.
A. Yoshida said that their friends and relations expressed dislike to visit Sri Lanka mainly due to the image created by the media. He said that they realised that Sri Lanka is a safe destination for Japanese tourists. Sri Lanka has wonderful ancient cities, beaches, green forests and hospitable people, he said.
If Sri Lanka presents its natural beauty, historical ancient cities and Buddhist civilisation, hospitality of the people Japanese may select Sri Lanka as their number one tourist destination, he said.
Deputy Minister of Tourism Faizer Musthapa and representatives of Silver Line Tours were present.