APT has tripled the number of departures to Sri Lanka for the 2020-21 season – with 12 holidays on offer compared to four for the 2019-20 season.

News of the capacity increase comes after the Foreign Office relaxed its advice for UK visitors last week. A travel ban had been in place since Easter after three churches and three luxury hotels were targeted in a series of terrorist suicide bombings, killing 258 people.

APT’s Spirit of Sri Lanka is a 16-day tour with guaranteed departures and a maximum of 16 passengers.

Bookings made by August 31 will include free economy flights.

The itinerary takes holidaymakers from Negombo to Colombo, via the tea country hills of Nuwara Eliya and south to the Yala National Park.

Paul Melinis, APT UK and Europe managing director, said: “Our escorted tours have proved incredibly popular since their introduction last year and the increased departure dates are designed to meet that demand.

“Introducing extra dates to our Sri Lanka programme made sense.

“The destination has been on many people’s bucket list for 2019 and we anticipate this trend is set to continue, despite recent events.

“With the recent change in the FCO’s advice, a commitment from suppliers in the region and with the safety and security that comes with an escorted tour, we are confident that many will continue to book holidays to this incredible country that has so much to offer.”

Spirit of Sri Lanka features two APT Signature Experience dinners – one in the Cave of Heritance, Dambulla, and the other in a converted railway carriage at the Heritage Tea Factory.

Prices start at £5,295 on a twin share basis, departing September 21, 2020, including the free economy flights, when booked by August 31.

Tea plantation image by APT.