The famous explorer Marco Polo wrote that Sri Lanka is the finest island in the whole world. For centuries it had been a great tourism destination particularly for European travelers. However the 30-year-long internal conflict and terrorism had a negative impact of tourism and the growth of the industry stagnated.

The advantage of Sri Lanka as a tourism destination is threefold. Firstly it is an authentic tourism destination. Secondly it is a compact island of 65,610 sqkm where a tourist can travel the length and breadth of the country within a few days, thirdly the diversity of the tourism product is unparalleled.

For the simplicity of communicating the diversity of Sri Lanka in 2010 the tourism authorities started positioning the country around 8 different products namely; beaches, heritage, wildlife, scenic beauty, mind and body wellness, festivals, sports and adventure and Essence. The Essence of Sri Lanka include what is unique to the country such as its people, art and culture, spices, tea, gems, handy crafts etc.


Being an island, Sri Lanka is surrounded by sea and it is a perfect destination for a beach holiday. When the seas are rough on one side of the island, it is calm waters on the other side, so Sri Lanka is a year round beach destination.

West Coast

  • Negombo (35 km north of Colombo)
  • Mount Lavinia (12 km south of Colombo)
  • Kalutara (42 km south of Colombo)