Sri Lanka to open international airport in wildlife paradise
MATTALA (AFP) - Sri Lanka is set to open later this month a Chinese-built international airport surrounded by wildlife sanctuaries with the aim of boosting tourism, an official said.
Authorities want to leverage the exotic flora and fauna in the US$209 million (S$261 million) airport's neighbourhood to attract holidaymakers.
Travellers will be offered the "experience of being able to get up close and feed wild baby elephants," the state-run airport chairman Prasanna Wickremasuriya said.
The nearby Udawalawe wildlife sanctuary where authorities maintain a transit home for orphaned baby elephants is already a popular attraction for tourists who pay a fee to feed bottle milk to baby jumbos.