Over 57,000 tourists in first 10 days of December; YTD figure tops 1.3 million mark
Daily FT: In a promising start to December, Sri Lanka crossed the 1.3 milestone welcoming a total of 57,394 tourists in the first 10 days. This is the highest tourist arrivals recorded post-pandemic.
With a target of 1.55 million tourists by the end of the year, Sri Lanka Tourism anticipates a robust month, aiming for a total of 242,135 arrivals. Authorities’ express confidence in reaching the set target, hoping to attract an additional 184,741 tourists before the year concludes. The cumulative total as of 10 December was 1.33 million.
India (270,313), Russia (175,845) and the UK (116,814) emerged as the top source markets year to date (YTD) in 2023 so far.
During the first 10 days of December, India topped as the leading source market, contributing significantly with 11,442 arrivals, constituting 20% of the total. Following closely Russia accounts for 14% with 8,004 visitors, while the UK, Germany and China contribute 11%, 9%, and 5%, respectively.
On 10 December three cruise ships Vasco Da Gama, Mein Schiff 5 and MS Seven Seas Navigator were called at the port of Colombo with around 4,000 passengers from all three vessels.
Sri Lanka’s diverse attractions, coupled with marketing efforts, are seen as key factors driving this positive trend in tourism. As the year draws to a close, the industry remains optimistic about achieving its ambitious goals, marking a noteworthy recovery for Sri Lanka’s tourism sector.
Tourism earnings in the first 11 months of 2023 were over $ 1.79 billion, reflecting a 78.3% increase from the corresponding period of last year, whilst November earnings stood at
$ 205.3 million, the latest Central Bank data released showed.
The authorities have set their sights on increasing arrivals to five million by 2029 and earning an impressive $ 21.6 billion within seven years. As part of its long-term strategy to welcome five million visitors, it hopes to lift the average spending per visitor to $ 4,000, with 2.5 million of them spending over $ 500 per day, indicating a concentration on luring high-end tourists.
The steady growth in tourist arrivals to the country and the increase in flights operated to Sri Lanka by international airlines are all indicative of the future growth potential in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry. The ongoing promotional campaigns carried out by local authorities in key tourist source markets while also exploring new tourism concepts would result in the further expansion of the country’s tourism industry. This expansion would see a further boost in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry with the international media identifying the country as a must visit tourist destination. All these are indicative of the growing business/investment opportunities in the tourism industry, especially in the leisure and hospitality sectors. Also, in the development of infrastructure and supplementary infrastructure facilities required by the industry to meet the growing demand. It is the growing business potential in the tourism industry thar has attracted many international leisure and hospitality brands to do business with Sri Lanka. Given the steady growth in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, foreign businesses/investors could explore the expanding opportunities in the industry and also look to form partnerships or joint ventures with local businesses in the industry in order to expand further.
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