Tourism Minister anticipating 2.5 million tourist arrivals this year - Opportunity Sri Lanka
Tourism Minister anticipating 2.5 million tourist arrivals this year

Tourism Minister anticipating 2.5 million tourist arrivals this year

Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga has observed that tourist arrivals may rival his projected expectation of 2.5 million by the end of 2017 despite the natural disasters that had struck Sri Lanka, the dengue epidemic and the temporary closing of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA).
According to statistics at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, tourist arrivals recorded an increase of 4.5%, year-on-year, with 123,351 tourists arriving during June 2017. On a cumulative basis, tourist arrivals grew by 4.8% during the first half of 2017 compared to the same period of 2016. Following the same trend in tourist arrivals, earnings from tourism also increased to USD 211.6 million in June 2017.¹
Consequently, on a cumulative basis, earnings from tourism increased by 4.8% to USD 1,733.6 million during the first half of 2017.²
The reduction in the number of tourist arrivals at the beginning of 2017 could be attributed to a dip in tourists arriving from China and the Middle East and flight rescheduling because of resurfacing of the BIA’s tarmac.
However Amaratunga remained optimistic going so far as to state, “You have to aim high in order to achieve somewhere.”


Increased tourist arrivals signals a growth in the tourism industry and is a good sign to potential investors that the Sri Lanka tourism industry has scope for expanding and accommodating new ventures. The country’s tourism sector is definitely a hotspot for innovative investors to look at new avenues to explore investment potentials in Sri Lanka.
According to the Board of Investment in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka government has identified some key areas for tourism development and is promoting them for hotel and resort projects. These destinations are Kuchchaveli in Trincomalee district on the north-eastern coast, Passikudah on the east coast, Kalpitiya on the north western coast consisting of 14 different islands, and Dedduwa near the river Madhu Ganga located close to Bentota on the south western coast.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/08092017/Z_2

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