Seductive beaches and tempting water sports, magnificent landscapes featuring lazy lagoons, fertile wetlands, ecologically-wondrous types of forest, imposing mountains, bounteous rivers and waterfalls, an abundance of wildlife – much of it endemic – unique ecosystems, inspiring heritage sites from ancient cities to colonial forts, a vibrant culture including fine arts and crafts and grand festivals and people of diverse ethnicity and religious persuasion, charming and hospitable.

POPULATION

20,926,315

CURRENCY

The local currency is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR). You can exchange currency at the airport and hotels. Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted, even in smaller stores. American Express is also accepted, but not as widely as Visa and Mastercard. Further teller machines (ATM) are operated throughout the day.

CAPITAL COLOMBO

Sri Jayawardenapura (Legislative)

AREA

Total: 65,610 sq km
Land: 64,740 sq km
Water: 870 sq km

LITERACY

Male: 92.3%
Female: 89.1% (2001 census)

CLIMATE

Tropical climate. Upland areas are cooler and more temperate, and coastal areas are cooled by sea breezes. There are two monsoons, which occur May to July and December to January.

LANGUAGE

The major languages spoken are Sinhala and Tamil with English as a link language. Most people have some knowledge of English, and signboards are often in English.

TIME ZONE

UTC + 5:30

WHAT TO WEAR

Cotton clothes are useful at any time of the year but you will need light woolens for the hill country and waterproof clothing or an umbrella. Modest dress for women is advisable especially off the beach and when visiting religious sites. Don’t forget comfortable shoes, sandals or trainers and cotton socks.

LOCAL TRAVEL

Three-wheelers (tuk-tuks) are available for hire throughout the city. Agree a price before you set off or look for one with a working meter. If you are unsure of the routes, it is advisable to take professional cab drivers. You can request for a cab from the hotel as well.

ELECTRICITY

230 -240 volts, 50 cycles AC. If you travel with a laptop computer bring a stabilizer.

TIPPING

It is left to the customer to tip if satisfied with service. Most hotels and restaurants include a service charge of 10% in any bill. In the event of your wishing to give a tip, about 10% of the bill is generally considered a fair tip.

VISA PROCEDURE

Sri Lanka offers online visa through the ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) & please visit www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa for more information.
Participants are encourage to apply for Business Purpose ETA & select the Purpose of Visit as “Conferences, Workshops and Seminars”.