Sri Lanka’s tourism policy to solidify attracting high-end tourists
The Morning: The new tourism policy of Sri Lanka is likely to be unveiled this month in the aspiration of enhancing the tourism earnings in the long run with the goal of attracting high-end tourists to the country, says the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chairman Priantha Fernando.
Speaking to The Daily Morning Business, Fernando said: “President Ranil Wickremasighe has emphasized on attracting high-end tourists as well as to increase the average spending per tourist.”
Therefore, the emphasis has been given on the said factor along with many other sectors in the tourism industry, he added.
The President’s Media Division (PMD), issuing a statement recently, said that the Government aims to bring in 5 million tourists, of whom 2.5 million will be high-end visitors.
The PMD statement also read: “According to Indian estimates, Sri Lanka can host up to 10 million tourists, of whom, most will be tourists from the Asian and the South Asian region.”
When it comes to introducing new tourism segments, Fernando said that such to take place on an ongoing-basis based on demand analysis. According to the demand analysis, new products are to be introduced.
Speaking to The Daily Morning Business, in April, Fernando said: “If we (Sri Lanka Tourism) target high end tourists, there should be products that are up to the expected standard and quality. The hospitality sector who serves high end tourists experience very good occupancy with good rates.”
He also noted that currently, out of the approximate of 50,000 rooms in the formal sector, around 10,000 are qualified for the high-end tourists in terms of luxury villas, boutique hotels, 4 star and 5-star hotels.
When The Daily Morning Business inquired about the current situation in attracting tourists from Middle Eastern countries, he responded saying that in the present context, the Middle Eastern market generates traffic while the promotional activities in the Middle Eastern markets are to be further intensified by Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB).
Arab News reported a few months ago that Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Colombo Khalid Hamoud Nasser Al-Dasan Al-Qahtani has recognized Sri Lanka’s potential in appealing to Arab visitors.
Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is on a growth path with the steady increase in tourist arrivals to the country. After facing the challenges posed by the global pandemic and the economic crisis that followed, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has shown great resilience and is on a steady path to recovery. The many promotional campaigns carried out by the local authorities in key tourist source markets and the exposure received by Sri Lanka in the international media as a must visit tourist destination have also helped boost the tourism industry. The growth in the industry has opened up a host of business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, especially in the leisure and hospitality sectors. The growth and business potential in the tourism industry has attracted the attention of many international leisure and hospitality brands, thar are now exploring business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. Even the local businesses engaged in the industry are looking at refurbishment or expansion programmers due to the overall expansion in the industry. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore confidently explore the growing business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.
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