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In a bid to promote Sri Lanka as a tourism hub, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) has taken a fresh initiative to promote the country globally as an “island of thousand treasures”, the SLTPB recently said.

According to a statement, the SLTPB is to give a fresh boost by supporting the export industry, which has brought to the world the Blue Sapphire and made Sri Lanka known as the sapphire capital the world. The SLTPB had recently taken part in the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) 16th congress themed “Sapphire and MORE” from May 16 to 19, 2015.

“We at Sri Lanka Tourism was honored to be part of the ICA Congress 2015 staged after 26 years in Sri Lanka, also known as an Island of thousand treasures,” said Athukorala.

“The 2015 ICA edition attracted the best names in the world with over 250 top foreign delegates from more than 60 countries coming over to the country coordinated by ICA we must salute the organizers – the National Gem and Jewellery Association of Sri Lanka (NGJA) and the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA) along with the Export Development Board (EDB) for supporting Sri Lanka tourism with this event.”

Sri Lanka which has crossed USD $500 million in exports of gems is hoping to achieve USD 1 billion in exports by the end of the year. Officials agreed that the ICA Congress which was held in Sri Lanka plays a pivotal role in generating that revenue.

“Overall Sri Lanka as a brand is valued at $61 billon and is targeting $100 billion as per the specialists Brand Finance (UK) in the next two years which means that we can attract better quality tourists, garner top investors whist also sprucing up the export business,” said Athukorala.