India regained status as highest monthly tourist source for Sri Lanka in April after Russia held the top slot for six months.
To date, India has contributed over 80,000 tourists to the country and this figure is expected to double by 2023, according to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.
Sri Lanka saw 19,915 Indian tourists (19% of total) in April as against 14,656 (14%) from Russia. India last held the top slot in October last year with 8,862 tourists whilst Russia was number two at 6,189 visitors.
Minister of Tourism Harin Fernando, , said, “Sri Lanka is experiencing a significant rise in tourist arrivals, particularly from India, which has now secured the top spot.
He added, “Sri Lanka values the Indian outbound market since it has been instrumental in driving tourism to the country.
The country features a varied range of attractions and offerings, including wellness and yoga, beaches, shopping, cuisine, adventure, and wildlife, in addition to its extensive legacy dating back 2500 years.
Furthermore, the Ramayana circuit, a religious travel initiative, is a strong draw for the Indian market. As a result, this is an excellent time to experience the wonderful hospitality of the Sri Lankan people, he said.”
However Russia remained the biggest source market on a cumulative basis in the first four months.Industry analysts said arrivals from Russia in April decelerated from 25,553 in March as the winter season came to an end.
Sri Lanka, which is emerging from an economic crisis, is expecting to attract 2million visitors from India this year, Sri Lanka Tourism Minister said on Friday.Sri Lanka is experiencing a significant rise in tourist arrivals, particularly from India, which has now secured the top spo
On the other hand the gain in arrivals from India from 18,959 in March was largely influenced by the successful series of roadshows Sri Lanka Tourism conducted in multi cities of Southern India last week of April.
Last year India was Sri Lanka’s biggest source market with 123,000 arrivals accounting for 17% of total. Russia came second with 91,272 visitors of 12.7% and UK third with 85,187 tourists or 11.8%.
In April, Sri Lanka enjoyed its fourth consecutive month of over 100,000 tourist arrivals, an achievement for the first time since 2019.
There were 105,498 tourist arrivals in April up by 67.5% from a year ago but lower than 125,495 in March.
In April other arrivals included 8,743 from the UK, 7,404 from Germany and 5,535 from France. In addition, tourists were also received from China, Australia, the US, Maldives, Canada, and Japan, the data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.
Arrivals in the first four months amounted to 441,177 (as against 348,314 in crisis-hit 2022) – a welcome development for the triple-hit tourism industry, but performance is still down by 50% compared to the same period in the benchmark year 2018. Russia remains strong as the top tourist source market for Sri Lanka YTD with 94,542, followed by India, UK, Germany and France