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Sri Lanka ranked top country for travel in 2019 by Lonely Planet

Improved train services mean it’s easier than ever to explore Sri Lanka but campaigners warn a surge in tourism could ruin its natural beauty

Almost 10 years after the end of its civil war, Sri Lanka has been named the best country in the world to visit in 2019 by Lonely Planet. Better transport links, new hotels and a growing number of activities were cited as the reason the south-Asian island was chosen for the top spot in the guidebook publisher ’s annual Best in Travel awards.

“Already notable to intrepid travellers for its mix of religions and cultures, its timeless temples, its rich and accessible wildlife, its growing surf scene and its people who defy all odds by their welcome and friendliness after decades of civil conflict, this is a country revived,” says Lonely Planet author Ethan Gelber in the Best in Travel 2019 book, published today.

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Premier Inn unveils no-frills hotel brand with pod-style rooms

Owner Whitbread creates spin-off Zip as it refocuses after sale of Costa Coffee to Coca-Cola

Premier Inn’s owner, Whitbread, is launching a no-frills hotel chain with small pod-style rooms as the company seeks to refocus its business after the sale of its cafe chain Costa Coffee to Coca-Cola.

Called Zip by Premier Inn, the new hotels will be located on the outskirts of major towns and cities. Rooms will cost from £19 a night and be less than half the size of a standard Premier Inn room, at 8.5 square metres. Premier Inn prices typically start at £49 while its more upmarket brand, hub, starts at £69 a night.

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