It's November and you know what that means: a flurry of vendor product launch presentations.
Personally, I've spent quite a few hours in elegant Vancouver restaurants eating up operators' newest travel offerings (the pan-seared and the wanderlust-y kind), and one thing that struck me - as I spooned a sophisticated cheesecake into my mouth - was learning two major guided travel operators are adding Sri Lanka to their 2017 offering. Now that flags 'travel trend' to me.
Travellers who know and love the Trafalgar and Collette experience can now explore the cinnamon-dusted spice island with their preferred operator. And that's a great thing if you like Kandy.
Why is 2017 Sri Lanka's year?
I asked Anita Emillo, Vice President of Sales at Trafalgar, why 2017 is the year to introduce Sri Lanka. She told me: "We’re always looking to add new destinations and we do a lot of our product development based on what our guests are asking for. So for us [it] is a natural next step."
She's absolutely right. Sri Lanka is a natural extension for travellers who are familiar with South Asia and Southeast Asia, yet it still has an off-the-beaten track appeal. It's suitable as a stand-alone destination (beaches, meet culture) or as a complement to travellers heading to India or Thailand. But if you're asking me, I like the idea of Sri Lanka served up with the hard-to-reach Maldives.
Travel highlights: Beaches, tea cultivation, culinary, elephants, forts & temples
Flight time from Vancouver - Colombo: 21+ hours
Flight time from Toronto - Colombo: 20+ hours
Do Canadians need a visa? Yes
Which operators travel Sri Lanka?
Wonders of Sri Lanka (new)
11 days, 8 cities, 19 meals
Colombo - Sigiriya - Kandy - Gampola - Nuwara Eliya - Udawalawe - Galle - Colombo
From $3,235 pp
Exploring Sri Lanka (new)
13 days, 22 meals
Colombo - Sigiriya - Kandy - Gampola - Nuwara Eliya - Bentota - Galle - Ambalangota - Colombo
From $4,949 pp
Sensational Sri Lanka (1 of 6 itineraries)
12 days, 11 meals
Negombo - Anuradhapura - Jaffna - Trincomalee - Batticaloa - Mahiyangana - Kandy - Colombo
From $2,376 pp
Cultural Sri Lanka (1 of 5 itineraries)
14 days, 14 meals
Negombo - Sigiriya - Kandy - Nuwara Eliya - Kudaoya - Hikkaduwa - Galle - Colombo
From $1,999 pp