“We need to do everything we can”, said Tourism Minister, Navin Dissanayake.
“To make sure our tourism authorities get the maximum benefit from this fantastic opportunity to introduce Sri Lanka as a nature tourism destination to the world.”
“Monkey Kingdom”,a feature-length wildlife documentary will debut in US cinemas on 17th April and be rolled out to 12,000 cinemas across the country."
Filmed around Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka, the film documents the life of a troop of wild toque-macaque monkeys (rilaw.
The movie is directed by Mark Linfield and Alastair Fothergill, who were responsible for other Disney blockbusters such as ‘Earth’, which grossed more than 100 million dollars at the box office, the promotion office said.
Their last movie in 2012, ‘Chimpanzee’, filmed in West Africa, grossed almost 35 million US dollars, a record for a wildlife documentary.
The potential is there for Sri Lanka to be a top of the mind brand among families that have kids, Dissanayke said.“The movie portrays Sri Lanka as a genuinely exotic destination and shows not just the monkeys but also their association with the historic city of Polonnaruwa and its people”, Dissanayke said.
“No one pays much attention to these monkeys in Sri Lanka, and most people think of them as pests. But this film shows how fascinating these animals are and I hope it will inspire people to pay more attention to their conservation.”
Disney predicts that ‘Monkey Kingdom’ will be a hit with families everywhere and has released a 74-page educators’ guide with school projects, games and quizzes for children.
Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 18 per cent to 157,051 in March 2015 from a year earlier with a surge in tourist arrivals from China and cumulative as at end 1st quarter to 478,838 with a growth of 13.6 per cent, data from the state tourism promotion office showed.
Sri Lanka tourist arrivals were up 11.6 percent to 321,787 in the past two months of 2015.
Arrivals from USA, the Island’s 9th biggest market rose 25.2 percent to 12,674 from Jan –March 2015 from 10,120 a year earlier data shows.