Sri Lanka’s Export Development Board adds ‘wellness tourism’ into the export basket from this year onwards
The Export Development Board (EDB) of Sri Lanka has reportedly announced that ‘wellness tourism’ would be added to the export basket from this year onwards.
Also, the EDB has set an initial US$ 2 million target for the sector.
“Sri Lanka has not included tourism in calculating the total export revenue. However, from this year onwards, we will take wellness tourism into consideration,” EDB Chairperson Indira Malwatte has told the media.
Malwatte has been quoted in the local media as saying that the services sector is calculated only with the performance of ICT/BPM, construction, financial services and logistics (transport) till last year.
However, the EDB is to enhance its export basket and add wellness tourism from this year onwards.
The Chairperson has noted that wellness tourism has been recognized under the National Export Strategy (NES), which will be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers shortly.
“The future of tourism should be concentrated on wellness tourism. A normal tourist coming to Sri Lanka only spend about US$ 170 per night, but if you promote the wellness tourism sector with the resorts and other services we have, the sector could easily draw US$ 400 to US$ 450 per night from a tourist.
“Sri Lanka being a small country with its biodiversity, we firmly believe that wellness tourism is one area that can attract high-spending tourists to the country,” Malwatte has been quoted as saying.
According to reports, the EDB has tied up with a world renowned group to promote the segment of wellness tourism in targeted markets in the near future.
“We are getting one of the top travel agency head coming to Sri Lanka, where she will visit selected resorts in the country. The agency also provides connectivity to certain markets, which is a plus point. Taking that into consideration, we are targeting the UK, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Australia as our initial focused markets to promote wellness tourism,” the EDB Chairperson has added.
The inclusion of wellness tourism into the export/tourism segment in the country has opened up a new investment opportunity for foreign businesses/investors. The Sri Lankan authorities are currently engaged in a promotional programme targeting UK, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Australia for wellness tourism. Given the already increasing tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka, this would be an ideal moment for foreign businesses/investors to explore investment opportunities in the new wellness tourism sector in the island nation.
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