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SL attracts over 60,000 tourists in 19 days this month nearing 105,000 target

With its golden beaches, towering mountains, ancient monuments and stunning wildlife all encircled in the pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is set to meet the target of 105,000 tourist arrivals for January having already received a record 62,334 tourists, tourist arrivals in the first 19 days of January.

The island nation is on its way towards meeting an end-of-year revenue target of US$ 2.8 billion from an anticipated 1.55 million arrivals

As per the latest data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), a total of 20,875 travelers arrived in the first week, while 23,295 in the second week and 10,445 in the other three days, the provisional data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority showed.

Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chairman Priyantha Fernando said that tourist arrivals for 2022 were at a satisfactory 719,978, which marked a 270-percent increase from the 194,495 tourists who traveled to Sri Lanka in 2021.

Mr Fernnado disclosed that a 10-year national tourism policy will be introduced in early January.

“This will help the industry have a clear vision of the industry objectives and goals. It includes regional development, increasing female participation, identifying new tourist attractions, markets and so on,” he said.

SLTDA Chief noted that around 33 to 35 percent of the travelers coming to Sri Lanka are repeat customers and it was important to ensure there are new attractions for them as well as to promote the destination through word of mouth.

The boost in arrivals was largely influenced by the Russian tourist, maintaining the lead ahead of India. Daily arrivals have also reached 3,281 compared to over 2,000 levels last year showing a significant improvement.

Russia accounted for 15,572 or 25percent of the total tourists, followed by India with 7,853 or 13percent, Germany 5,668 or 9 percent, UK with 5,033 or 8 percent, and France with 2,799 or 4 percent.

Originally for 2023, Sri Lanka Tourism set an ambitious target of 1.5 million arrivals and an income of $ 5 billion by attracting high-end travellers who spend over $ 400 per day from the current $ 200.

Despite it being a ‘crisis year’ Sri Lanka ended 2022 with 719,978 tourists, up by 207percent over 2021. Though missing the original target of 750,000 arrivals, the Minister said the provisional data shows that the earnings target of $ 1.2 billion was achieved last year.

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