Sri Lanka draws over 325,000 tourists so far this year amidst crises
Daily FT: Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka have exceeded the 325,000 mark, despite the multiple internal challenges emanating from the beginning of the month.
As per the provisional data released by Sri Lanka Tourism on Monday (18), a total of 40,560 tourists have arrived during the first 16-days of the month, whilst pushing the cumulative figure to 325,894 so far.
However, it is notable that the daily average arrivals have dropped significantly from over 3,600 to 2,535, which is also lower than the first-week figure of 2,967 tourists in April, following the declaration of a state of emergency, political unrest, power and energy crisis.
Last month, Sri Lanka’s monthly tourist arrivals crossed the 100,000 mark for the first time in two years, whilst surpassing the 194,500 tourists recorded for the entirety of 2021, despite multiple internal and external challenges.
As of 16 April, the UK topped the tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with 8,290, followed by India with 5,345, and Germany with 4,735 tourists. In addition, tourists were also received from Australia, France, Russia, Switzerland, the US, Canada and Spain.
However, India stands strong as the top tourist source market for Sri Lanka with cumulative number of arrivals at 53,056, followed by Russia with 39,595, the UK with 39,282, Germany with 27,415, France with 17,510, Ukraine with 13,563, Poland with 11,483, Australia 9,353, US 8,006 and Canada 7,764.
Compared to the first quarter numbers, it is evident that the suspension of direct flights to Moscow by the national carrier, SriLankan Airlines, the conflict between Russia-Ukraine, and the economic crisis escalated into a political instability following the declaration of a state of emergency on 1 April had severely impacted in the forward bookings from Sri Lanka’s biggest source market, India as well.
Sri Lanka aims to lure 1.3 million tourists by the end of the year whilst expecting earnings to be US$ 2.4 billion.
Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the country until the global Covid 19 pandemic brought about global travel restrictions. However, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is on a growth path with a steady increase in tourist arrivals to the country. The island has been listed among the top 10 island destinations and has received much exposure in the international media. Also, the country’s tourism authorities are engaged in promoting tourism in key foreign source markets while also looking at new tourism concepts for promotion. Given the steady growth in tourist arrivals to the country, foreign businesses/investors, especially the leisure and hospitality sectors, could explore the growing business potential in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.
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