Home » Tourism Ministry attracts over 30,000 Travellers in first week this year.

Tourism Ministry attracts over 30,000 Travellers in first week this year.


By: Staff Writer

January 08, Colombo (LNW): As the world opens up to travel post-pandemic, Sri Lanka stands poised to showcase its unique beauty and vibrant culture to the world.

Sri Lanka’s tourism sector has been steadily growing over the past decade, attracting millions of visitors from around the world.

The tourism industry in the island is diverse, offering a wide range of experiences to suit every traveler. From the golden beaches of the southern coast to the lush tea plantations in the central highlands, the country’s natural beauty is unparalleled.

Furthermore, the rich cultural heritage, with ancient ruins and temples scattered throughout, adds a unique charm to the overall experience.

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has kicked off 2024 on an optimistic note, with provisional data revealing a robust start, surpassing 30,000 arrivals in the first week.

“We are yet to receive the official figures, but I learned that it has exceeded the 30,000 mark as of Friday. It is encouraging to see the boost in arrivals, giving a positive outlook for the industry.

We hope the industry will be able to maintain the growth momentum throughout the year,” Tourism Minister Harin Fernando disclosed.

As per provisional data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, during the first four days of the month it has welcomed a total of 25,619 visitors.

The figures for the first week of January 2024 indicate an upward growth compared to the 20,875 registered in the same period in 2023, with Russian tourists leading this increase.

The daily arrivals have also more than doubled, reaching over 6,400, compared to the levels of over 3,300 recorded in the same period last year, showcasing a noteworthy improvement in tourist influx.

Breaking down the top markets during the first week of January 2024, Russia led with 5,060 arrivals, followed by India with 3,333 and Germany with 2,109.

Other notable markets contributing to the positive trend include the UK, Australia, China, France, Netherlands, US and Maldives.

Sri Lanka Tourism has set ambitious targets, aiming to welcome 2.5 million tourists and earn $ 4.6 billion. Furthermore, the long-term strategy envisions increasing arrivals to 5 million and generating an impressive $ 21.6 billion within five years.

“As Sri Lanka strives to recover and rebuild its tourism sector, these early indications of growth in arrivals bring a sense of optimism for the industry to move towards its long-term growth targets,” Fernando added.

Though missing the target of 1.55 arrivals and $ 2.7 billion income in 2023, the Minister said that the private sector-led industry showed its resilience and appeal to the world by ending the year with 1.48 million holidaymakers and generating $ 2.06 billion.

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