By:Staff WriterColombo (LNW):Sri Lanka’s tourism is raganing its momentum under present tourism administration headed by Minister Harin Fernando under recovery measures with the untiring efforts of Tourism Development Authority led by experienced and qualified tourism administrator Priyantha Fernando along with private stakeholders, several travel trade analysts said.
The tourism authority had planned for 1.6 million foreign visitors in 2023. Priyantha Fernando said adding that the authority is up to the challenge, but aggressive promotions must be carried out immediately.
The tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka were recorded at 26,912 in the first week of April, the provisional data from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority showed.
For the first seven days of April, the daily arrival average is 3,844, which is a dip when compared with the average of 4,000 that was witnessed in March.
Accordingly, the cumulative tourist arrivals for the January 1 to April 7 period stand at 362,519.
After several months, India emerged as the largest tourist traffic generator for Sri Lanka, surpassing the Russian Federation, which held the position since the island nation opened for tourism after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The neighbouring giant contributed to 18 percent of the total arrivals, bringing in 4,895 tourists during the first week of April.
The industry stakeholders have been working aggressively towards luring Indian tourists and have carried out several initiatives to promote the island nation in that country.
According to the latest data from the Reserve Bank of India, Indians spend nearly US $ 1 billion every month on foreign travel, which is significantly higher than the pre-Covid-19 levels.
Regional peers are actively working towards capturing a share of this market to revive tourism. Moving to the second place from the first is the Russian Federation, which contributed to 14 percent of the total arrivals, bringing in 3,871 international visitors.
Ranking third is the United Kingdom, which accounted for 11 percent of the total arrivals to destination Sri Lanka other notable markets include Germany, Australia and the United States.
Meanwhile, moving up the list of key source markets for Sri Lanka tourism is China. The country, which was in the 11th position previously, has now moved up to the eighth position.