Sri Lanka is expecting 1.55 million tourists in 2023 led by visitors from India, Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Priyantha Fernando revealed.
“SLTDA is targeting almost 260,000 India arrivals this year,” Fernandosaid adding that with the Chinese traffic opening up this month there will be further increases.
He noted that the authority is expecting 1.55 million tourist’s arrivals this year. We ended with 102,545 tourists in the month of January 2023.”
Sri Lanka is witnessing a steady inflow of international tourist arrivals for the month of March, with the arrivals crossing the 50,000 mark, as of March 13.
The provisional data from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority showed that for the first 13 days of March, the island nation welcomed a total of 53,838. This brings the cumulative arrivals for the January 01 to March 13 period to 264,022.
When compared with the same period, last year, the inflow of international visitors has expanded by about 15 percent.The daily arrival average for the first two weeks of March has improved to 4,141.
The Russian Federation tops the list as the largest tourist traffic generator, accounting for 24 percent of the total arrivals. Ranking second is India, contributing to 14 percent of the tourist arrivals.
Ranking third is Germany, bringing in 8 percent of the total number of international visitors. The United Kingdom dropped to fourth place, from third and contributed to 7 percent of the total tourist arrivals.
.In the first week of February 2023, Sri Lanka had received 18,000 tourists,Priyantha Fernnado said, adding that in 2019, before the Coronavirus crisis hits, Sri Lanka welcomed 1.9 million tourists.
In that year Sri Lanka welcomed 355,002 tourists from India, 198,776 from the UK and 167,863 from China.Indian tourists are expected to spend about 1,850 dollars per person in Sri Lanka, he said.
However, some tourists spend much more, including in the duty free sales, he said.Authorities had allowed tourists to bring up to 10,000 Indian rupees and spend the money in Sri Lanka he claimed. .
“Definitely that is going to help tourism as well as and now Indians get good value for money 4.70 for 1 rupee,” Fernando said.Russians who have trouble with Ruble, may also be able to bring Indian rupees, he said.
In December 2022 and January 2023 Russia was a top generation market. Last December Sri Lanka got 91,961 tourists of which 19,963 were from Russia. In January 2023 out of a total of 102,545 tourists, 25,254 were Russians.
Russia as well as India, Germany and UK are expected to bring most of the tourists to Sri Lanka in 2023, he said.In 2019 Sri Lanka received 134,899 visitors from Germany, making it the fourth largest generating market, after India, UK and China.