Home » Sri Lanka, India discuss financial transaction in rupees for tourism

Sri Lanka, India discuss financial transaction in rupees for tourism

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With more Indian tourists visiting the island nation recording the second highest number of arrivals up to now this year, India and Sri Lanka held discussions on ways of improving financial transactions for tourism.

Sri Lankan High Commissioner in India Milinda Moragoda and Rahul Bhatia, Founder of IndiGo discussed aviation collaboration and use of rupee trade for tourism, a statement from the Sri Lankan mission said.

According to the statement, they discussed ways to expand collaboration in the aviation sector between Sri Lanka and India including ways and means to make Sri Lankan airports more competitive for the Indian carrier.

“The opportunities presented by the recent permission granted by the Reserve Bank of India to allow VOSTRO accounts were also discussed.

IndiGo is India’s largest airline by passenger carriage and fleet size, and is a pioneer in low-cost aviation in India. The airline has carried over 300 million passengers as of November 2022.

IndiGo currently operates scheduled flights between Chennai and Colombo, and is responsible for transporting a significant portion of tourism traffic from India, Sri Lanka’s largest source market.

Tourism from India will play a central role in Sri Lanka’s economic recovery. The recent approval by the Reserve Bank of India to allow VOSTRO accounts to be opened by Sri Lankan banks is a first step towards enhancing rupee-based trade between India and Sri Lanka.

This development will be a further catalyst in enhancing tourism and IndiGo will play a key role in this regard,” the statement said.

IndiGo currently operates scheduled flights between Chennai and Colombo, and is responsible for transporting a significant portion of tourism traffic from India

The tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka for the first 20 days of December have crossed 50,000, indicating a significant improvement in tourism activities.

The provisional data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority revealed that for the December 01 to 20 period, a total of 50,375 international visitors entered the country.

This brings the total tourist arrivals for the year so far (January 01- December 20) to 678,392.

Accordingly, the daily arrival average improved to 2,518. In the previous months, the daily arrival average was below 2,200.

Analysis of the weekly arrival numbers shows that for the first 20 days, the tourist arrivals were above 16,000 for the first three weeks of the month.

In the first week (December 01-07), the tourist arrivals reached 16,169, whereas in the second week (December 08 -14), the arrivals totalled 16,418. In the first five days of the third week (December 15-20), the tourist arrivals reached 17,788.

If the current pace of tourist arrivals can be maintained, Sri Lanka could end the month of December with about 75,000 tourist arrivals, which will mean the tourism sector has somewhat improved to what it was before the economic and political crisis in the country that escalated in April.

The Russian Federation continues to remain as the largest tourist traffic generator for destination Sri Lanka, accounting for 22 percent of the total tourist arrivals for the first 20 days of December.

Ranking second is India, contributing to 18 percent of the total tourist traffic and in the third place is the United Kingdom, bringing in 9 percent of the total tourists to the country.

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