Tourism and Hotels

Sector Overview

Sri Lanka has been one of the world’s foremost destinations for tourism over the years. In the post war era, the recognition gained has been tremendous earning worldwide reputation as being a top destinations. Sri Lanka aims to attract over 4 million visitors a year by 2020. By the estimates done by Tourist Hotel Association of Sri Lanka a further 25,000 rooms are required to fulfill demand within the next five years. The government has invested significantly towards improving infrastructure and enabling businesses in the tourism sector to expand the existing infrastructure.

The tourism industry in Sri Lanka is by no means a recent venture. It has long functioned dating even as far back as 1937 to the establishment of the Ceylon Tourist Bureau. A look at the numbers reveal there was an upward trend of tourist visits to Sri Lanka between 1966 when the Ceylon Tourist Bureau was reestablished and 1982 with 1971 being the only exception. However, this upward trend was halted with the start of the war. Soon after the war ended Tourism began gathering more steam once again and by 2015 had shown a 300% increase compared to some previous years.

Sri Lankan tourism is largely based on a few key areas. These being Wildlife, Natural scenic beauty, Oceans and Beaches, Upcountry and heritage driven. Although these have formed the bulk of the tourist attractions for a number of years the efforts by the industry in introducing newer and diverse attractions has been slowly but steadily growing into another area of attraction.

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