Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister forecasts 1 million tourist arrivals for 2022 - Opportunity Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister forecasts 1 million tourist arrivals for 2022

Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister forecasts 1 million tourist arrivals for 2022

Daily FT: Former Tourism Minister Harin Fernando has recently stated that Sri Lanka is expecting close to one million tourists by the end of the year, whilst capitalising on new markets as well as on the neighbouring giant — India.

“As June recorded an 8.8% increase in arrivals, we hope there will be a steady influx of tourists by December. We are looking at tapping into new markets as well as into India, which continues to be the largest tourist market for Sri Lanka,” he told journalists recently.
Tourist arrivals in June increased by 8.8% to 32,865 from the lowest 30,207 in May despite the ongoing economic crisis. Arrivals in the first six months amounted to 411,377 (as against 17,000 in COVID-hit 1H of 2021), a welcome development for the triple-hit tourism industry but performance is still down by 50% compared to the same period in pre-COVID.
He said the Ministry together with the four institutions are working on a broader plan to attract tourists for the peak season in December.
The former Minister also said that promotions in five key Indian cities which include; Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Delhi, would be launched shortly whilst venturing into a first-time destination as well — Gujarat, noting that a promotion office is to be set up in a first-time destination, Gujarat.
“There is a lot of potential in India. For the first time, we are going to set up a promotion office in Gujarat. It is a new destination for us, but they have three million people travelling each year and are considered to be high spenders as well. There are hopes to promote Sri Lanka on yoga, retreat, wellness, ayurveda, culture, religion, MICE and destination weddings,” he explained.
As per Sri Lanka Development Authority (SLTDA), India remains the top tourist source market for Sri Lanka YTD with cumulative number of arrivals at 68,601, followed by UK 49,453, Russia with 46,337, Germany 33,373, France 21,683, Australia 14,476, Ukraine 13,781, Canada 12,968, Poland 12,709 and US 11,626.
Fernando said Sri Lanka is also being promoted among Indian corporate companies for MICE tourism opportunities.
He also expressed confidence in expecting a large number of tourists from India, the UK and France to attend the Nallur Kovil celebrations next month.
Sri Lanka earned $ 681 million from tourism in the first five months as against $ 40 million a year ago.

OSL take:

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is once again on the path to recovery after facing many challenges since 2019 including the global pandemic. Sri Lanka has received much exposure in the international media as a must visit tourist destination as well as being listed among the top 10 island destinations by several leading travel publications. Local tourism authorities are also engaged in promotional campaigns in key foreign source markets while also exploring new tourism concepts. All these have shown the untapped business potential in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, especially in the leisure and hospitality sectors. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore confidently explore opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry especially in the leisure and hospitality sectors.

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