SLTDA revises tourism projections thrice amidst lowest monthly arrivals
The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has revised down its tourism arrival projections for 2022 for the third time this year, due to the current crisis in the country which has negatively impacted tourist arrivals to the country.
However, the authorities have now set two targets based on two scenarios. SLTDA official stated that considering the current crisis situation in the country, SLTDA had decided to revise their tourist arrival projections for 2022.
“It has considered two scenarios and developed our projections accordingly. The first scenario is if the current situation prevails, whereupon the anticipated tourist arrival for the year 2022 is 650,000.
The second scenario is if the situation improves, whereupon the projected tourist arrivals for the year 2022 will be around 850,000,” SLTDA official noted.
He further added that if Sri Lanka had a good winter season, tourist arrivals in 2022 may reach one million.
However, he admitted that such a development would rely heavily upon the improvement of the current unfavorable conditions in the country.
He also noted that the revenue generated from tourism had contracted due to the recent developments in the country because the duration of tourist stays had decreased.
This is reflected by the fact that the average duration of a tourist stay has contracted from 10.23 days during the period of January to March this year, to around 9.8 days at present.
Nevertheless, He anticipated that the revenue may have decreased simultaneously due to the duration of the stay being shortened amidst the crisis.
Sri Lanka witnessed its lowest monthly tourist arrivals in September, with the number of international visitors entering recorded at 29,802.The arrivals for the month are even lower than that of May, which saw 30,207 tourists entering the country.
In May, the political and economic crisis in the country escalated, severely crippling the tourism sector that was well on its way towards revival from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The low rate of tourist arrivals in September brings the total number of visitors that entered the country from January 01 to September 30 to 526,232. The weekly tourist arrival averaged 7,450, whereas the daily arrivals averaged 993 for the month of September.
India, the UK and Australia emerged as the top three source markets in September, accounting for 6,493, 2,872 and 2,309 arrivals, respectively. For the January-September period, India, the UK and Russian Federation were the top three tourist traffic generators for the country, bringing in 86,625, 68,527 and 51,300 international visitors, respectively.
Although the recent months have seen lower tourist arrivals to the country, the industry stakeholders have expressed confidence in the numbers picking up towards the latter part of the year, leading to the winter season.
Sri Lanka is still to fall under the ‘green’ category of the travel traffic light system, which indicates travelers to exercise ‘normal’ precautions. Sri Lanka aims to attract a total of one million tourists and generate an income of US $ 1.7 billion for this year.