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Sri Lanka looks for boost from Botham walk

Ian Botham
Sir Ian Botham at today’s launch

Sri Lanka is hoping to further boost awareness of tourism and community projects with the announcement of a 160-mile walk with Sir Ian Botham.

The cricketer will embark on the eight-day journey from Mankulum to Seenigama to raise funds for childrens’ charity Foundations for Goodness, with packages available through Sri Lankan Airlines and Paradise Vacations for those Brits keen to follow him along the way.

‘Beefy’s Big Sri Lanka Walk’ is one of several community projects in the area to drive more awareness to the north of the country, led by sports charity Laureus.

The country’s sport offering, particularly cricket, is also one of the main reasons British people visit the country, which is seeing a rise in visitors.

Don Nalin Perara from Sri Lanka Tourism told Travel Daily the country saw a 7.7% increase in British visitors in 2012 to 140,000 and has already seen 15% growth in the first four months of this year.

“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,” he added.