Sri Lanka’s short- and long-term plans to revive the troubled tourism sector have begun to bear fruit with the support of resilient and agile tourism stakeholders.
Tourism Minster Harin Fernando affirmed Sri Lanka’s tourism industry bounced back over the past three months, despite the multiple challenges.
“Things are turning out to be good. Over the last three months, tourism has picked up in Sri Lanka. The industry is strong, and the hoteliers and travel agents have a long history and vast experience. Tourism is one industry Sri Lanka needs to put our hands up and perform,” he said.
Minister Fernando expressed confidence in Sri Lanka’s product offering, adding that the industry has a short and long-term plan to revive the billion-dollar tourism industry.
The monthly tourist arrivals to the country crossed the 50,000 mark for the first time since the political and economic crisis erupted, indicating that the country’s tourism industry is moving towards some form of revival.
For the November 01-27 period, the island nation welcomed 51,865 international visitors.After April 2022, when the arrivals dropped to 62,980, from 106,500 in March, the highest-ever arrival for the year thus far, November shows improved interest towards Sri Lanka among tourists from across the world.
With the arrival numbers for the November 01-27 period, the tourist arrival total for the year is 620,120, the provisional data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority showed.
The daily arrival average for November so far is 1,920, a significant improvement when compared with the daily arrival average witnessed in recent months.
The analysis of the weekly arrival numbers also shows a steady increase in the arrival numbers, where the momentum achieved from the fourth week of October is maintained.
For the first week (November 01-07), 12,431 visitors entered Sri Lanka. In the second week (November 08 -14), the arrival increased to 13,051. In the third week, the number further expanded to 14,298. For the fourth week (November 22-27), a dip is seen, where the tourist arrivals fell to 12,085.
The tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka for November are led by the Russian Federation, which accounted for 24 percent of the total arrivals.
India ranks as the second largest tourist traffic generator, bringing in 18 percent of the total tourists to Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom ranks as the third largest source market, accounting for 8 percent of the total tourist arrivals.
The month of November saw tourists entering the country not only by air but also by sea. Last week, luxury cruise liner Viking Mars docked at the Colombo Port, bringing in 900 tourists.
Mein Schiff 5, owned by TUI Cruises, is expected to arrive at the East Container Terminal today, bringing in 2030 passengers and 945 crew members, Tourism Minister Harin Fernando announced recently.