Middle East On SriLankan Airlines' Agenda

SriLankan Airlines is adding more weekly flights to the Middle East.

With this initiative, SriLankan will have 37 weekly connections to nine cities in the Middle East — Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, Doha, Muscat, Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah and Kuwait. Additional flights are to three cities: Doha which increases from the present 4 flights up to 6; Bahrain which goes from 5 to 7; and Dammam which will have 3 flights, up from the present 2.

Mohamed Fazeel, regional manager for the Middle East, Africa and CIS, said: "We are strengthening our Middle East network, as there has been a significant increase in demand for flights in the region, and we see a lot of potential for growth. Our focus is on leisure travelers, and airline's leisure arm SriLankan Holidays has unveiled several packages to cater especially to Middle Eastern tourists who want to visit Sri Lanka."

Sri Lanka is growing in popularity as a leisure destination among Middle Eastern travelers, and western expatriates working in the region who are drawn to the island's golden beaches, mist-swathed tea plantations, and ancient cultural sites. An increasing number, including women travellers, also try out the country's many adventure sports.

Sri Lanka's Ministry of Tourism has taken a keen interest in promoting the country in the Middle East. The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Board has launched a series of advertising campaigns in major media in the Middle East to increase interest in Sri Lanka as a leisure destination. More campaigns are planned for June and July.