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New Chair of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority eyes $ 3.5 billion earnings for 2025

New Chair of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority eyes $ 3.5 billion earnings for 2025

The Morning: Newly appointed Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chairperson Priantha Fernando has set a target of $ 3.5 billion for annual tourism exchange earnings by 2025, along with an annual arrival target of 2.5 million.
In an exclusive interview with The Morning Business, Fernando stated that he expects 800,000 tourist arrivals this year.
“From the 800,000 tourist arrivals, we expect $ 800 million this year. Whatever we may get beyond this would be a bonus for us,” Fernando stated.
In September 2020, then-Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga set a target of attracting 7 million tourists annually to the island by 2025, and earning $ 10 billion in annual revenue from the tourism industry. He stated that they had already begun working to achieve this target and would strengthen the sector, despite it being among the industries worst hit by the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The Morning Business reported on 30 May that current Minister of Tourism and Lands Harin Fernando, in an interview with India-based international media channel WION on 28 May, stated that the number of tourist arrivals had decreased to a daily average of 900 at present, when the daily average used to be 10,000 foriegn tourists.
Initially, the tourist arrival target was 1.1 million for this year. However, on 10 April, The Morning Business reported that former Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism S. Hettiarachchi stated that due to the decline in tourist arrivals, the aforesaid tourist arrival target of 1.1 million for the year was unlikely to be achieved, although there was a trend for tourist arrivals to gradually decline in April.
Hettiarachchi explained: “This is like the chicken and egg theory. If we can bring more tourists, we can get more foreign exchange to import essential goods, but until electricity, fuel, and gas issues are sorted out, they will not come. It is very difficult to reach the target set for 2022.”

OSL take:

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the country when the global pandemic and its ensuing economic crisis affected the industry. However, the country’s tourism industry is once again on the path to recovery. Sri Lanka has also received much exposure in the international media as a must visit tourist destination while the local tourism authorities continue to explore new tourism concepts to be promoted. Given the growing business potential in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, many international businesses and brands have expressed interest in entering the industry, especially in the leisure and hospitality sectors. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore the growing opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/21062022/Z_1

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