Sri Lanka Tourism shows signs of revival due to survival plan
The hard-hit Sri Lanka tourism sector’s ‘Revival for Survival’ plan is now enforced to support the industry through the ongoing economic crisis and move towards a positive work trajectory at the earliest.
With the implementation of this plan the tourism industry shows signs of revival with the current changes towards the political stability even amidst economic crisis and ongoing peoples protests.
This was indicated with the arrivals of 28,733 tourists for the first 19 days of July, bringing the total number of international visitors entering the country for the year starting January 01 to 440,110.
Data from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) show a reduced but steady flow of tourists into the country, which indicates that despite the ongoing political and economic turmoil in the country, interest in destination Sri Lanka still remains.
The country-wise breakdown of the key contributors to the country’s tourist traffic for July shows that the UK ranks as the largest source market for Sri Lanka tourism. For the first 19 days of July, the UK accounted for 4,714 of the total arrivals.
Ranking as the second largest contributor to tourist traffic is India, which brought in 3,375 tourists; Germany emerged as the third largest source market, accounting for 2,322 international visitors.
Other notable markets for the month of July include Canada, France, Switzerland and Australia.
The cumulative analysis of the total arrivals for the year ending on July 19 shows that India tops the list as the largest contributor to the tourist traffic of destination Sri Lanka, with 72,136 visitors arriving from that country.
The UK ranks second with 54,336 visitors and the Russian Federation ranks third with 47,412 visitors.
the top three priorities for the industry were identified as lobby with foreign governments to reverse the negative travel advisories currently in place, prioritise supply of fuel, gas and electricity to the hotels and DMCs providing services for tourists and carry out marketing effort, targeting risk-averse markets such as India, the Middle East, Russia/CIS and Eastern Europe.
Identifying India as the source market to boost tourist arrivals to the country, the stakeholders stressed the need to carry out road shows that target the Indian market. Within that market, the three key segments that would help improve the tourist traffic to Sri Lanka were identified as Delhi and Mumbai.
The stakeholders also stressed the need to prioritise the twice postponed Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) that would highlight destination Sri Lanka and its offering to Indian tourists.
To improve the convenience of Indian tourists visiting the island nation, the associations proposed the option of accepting payments in Indian rupees. Approval for the acceptance of the Indian rupee for payments in the island nation will be sought from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL).
Another key concern expressed during the meeting with the minister was the participation of Sri Lanka Tourism in international travel and tourism conventions.
The 17-point plan called for the revoking of the decision taken by the SLTPB board to not attend any international travel fairs for the remainder of 2022 and select the important travel fairs such as WTM with approval.