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Mattala International Airport Opens

The day March 18th, 2013 will go down in history as a significant day for Sri Lanka’s aviation sector, as we opened our second international airport at Mattala Hambantota, with two UAE airlines making ceremonial flights. Mahinda Rajapakshe International Airport (MRIA), can also be called Sri Lanka’s second gateway to the world. It is also the only available air strip in Sri lanka that could land the world’s largest aircraft – the A380. Mattala International Airport & its support projects are funded by the Chinese Government. Construction began in late November 2009 and it is implemented as an eco friendly airport. In the first phase of development, all basic facilities have been completed, which includes a runway, taxiways and parking facilities. It could accommodate any airline in the world, including the majestic Airbus A380. In the second stage of development, facilities such as an aircraft servicing and repairing centre, flying school, maintenance hub, private jet parking, cargo terminals, technical training centre, hotels, and many more facilities are scheduled to be completed. Upon completion this will bring massive infrastructural development to the region. The airport is currently able to accommodate one million passengers per annum, but the government plans to expand it to handle five million passengers by 2015, and by 2020 to handle a passenger capacity of 21 million. The forecast cargo volume is 50,000 metric tons and air traffic Tourism & Hospitality of Uva Province This project comes as a blessing to the tourism industry. The development of the Airport and its surrounding facilities is a key part of the Government’s strategy to boost tourism and achieve its long-term goal of attracting 2.5 million visitors per year by 2016. Due to its close proximity

Top Destination in the World?

World’s most renowned and largest travel guide book and digital media publisher –“The Lonely Planet” has named Sri Lanka as number one destination in the world to visit in year 2013. The travel experts and the voters have predicted that Sri Lanka will be on the top of the hottest new holiday destinations for the travelers in year 2013. Under the title ‘Serenity returns to Serendib “ the travel guide raves destination Sri Lanka describing the multi-faceted experiences the traveler can look for in this small Island , fused with novelty and indulgence : “Dubbed Serendib -the origin of the word serendipity “ by seafaring Arab traders centuries ago, Sri Lanka has been anything but serene in recent decades. …South Asia's most compact country have remained off limits to even the most intrepid traveller. .…investment is again fuelling the tourist industry and visitor numbers are steadily increasing. Prices are affordable. Indeed, Sri Lanka is emerging as one of the planet's best-value destinations. The travel guide book highlights the emerging new popular places to visit in Sri Lanka including the newly opened up East coast and less travelled paths in the western coast as well : “North of the capital Colombo, on Sri Lanka's west coast, Kalpitiya and the Puttalam lagoon are eco-tourism hotspots with bird watching and kayaking. Near Dondra Head, on the south coast, mighty blue whales are regular visitors from January to April while land-based wildlife thrills include the leopards and elephants of Yala National Park, and the more rugged and remote Wilpattu National Park, open once more after being closed for more than two decades “ Being famous for pristine sandy beaches from the begining, the Lonely Planet remarks that the total