Sri Lanka’s Walkers Tours welcomed two mega cruises.
Daily FT: Walkers Tours, a leading destination management company, welcomed two cruises, MS Amera and MS Artania belonging to the Phoenix Reisen, Germany.
The cruises carrying German nationals arrived last month
MS Amera, a mid-sized premium category passenger cruise vessel with the capacity of 835 passengers and 440 crew members called at Colombo on 12 January. She stayed in Colombo Port and left on 13 January. There will be over 250 passengers disembarking and over 250 embarking the ship.
Shore excursions were planned for both 12 and 13 January for the passengers, and they visited some key tourist sites in Sri Lanka including Negombo, Colombo and Kandy. This is the first passenger exchange that happened in Sri Lanka after a long time in the country.
The second passenger exchange took place with the arrival of MS Artania, a large premium category passenger cruise vessel with the capacity of 1,260 passengers and 535 crew members. She called at Colombo on 18 January and left Colombo on 20 January for Hambantota for a day call on 21 January, which altogether was a four-day call in Sri Lanka.
MS Artenia’s passenger exchange took place in Colombo on 19 January with over 150 passengers disembarking and over 700 passengers embarking. There were shore excursions planned for the passengers on both 19 and 20 January in Colombo and 21 January in Hambantota. They visited some of Sri Lanka’s highlights including Negombo, Colombo, Kandy, Udawalawe, Kataragama and Dickwella.
“Passenger exchanges are rare in Sri Lanka, as rare as one in 100 regular calls, and it is noteworthy that two passenger exchanges will be taking place one week apart as we begin a new year. This is a rare opportunity for the island to make way for income generation via value added products such as pre/post cruise lounge facilities, and the ships staying multiple days in Sri Lanka would mean a large influx of revenue in comparison to a normal day call in Sri Lanka,” a spokesman for Walkers Tours said.
The attraction of Sri Lanka as a must visit tourist destination and one of the key island destinations as highlighted by leading travel publications has resulted in a steady increase in tourist arrivals to the country. While there has been an increase in the number of flights operated to the country by international airlines, there have also been a new segment of tourists visiting Sri Lanka in cruise ships. All these have resulted in the expansion of business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry including the development of supplementary infrastructure facilities required to accommodate the increasing number of tourists to the country. The growing business potential in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has resulted in international leisure and hospitality brands expressing interest in entering the local tourism industry. Given the expanding opportunities, foreign businesses/investors could confidently explore the expanding opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.
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