Travel advisories exert adverse impact on tourist arrivals in August
Sri Lanka could achieve the set target of one million tourists, whilst earning over $ 1.75 billion by year-end despite the the drop in tourist arrivals in August owing to adverse travel advisories by some foreign countries Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Chairman Priantha Fernando disclosed.
The adverse travel advisories imposed by multiple countries against Sri Lanka have severely impacted numbers, as August becomes the third lowest arrivals month for the year so far.
In August, arrivals fell by 20.2% to 37,760 from 47,293 in July, the shattering industry hopes to exceed the year-to-date half-a-million mark.
May recorded the lowest tourist arrivals with 30,207, whilst the second lowest inflow was in June with 32,856.
Arrivals in the first eight months amounted to 496,430 (as against 5,040 in COVID-hit August of 2021), a welcome development for the triple-hit tourism industry, but performance is still down by 81% compared to the same period in pre-COVID 2018.
The latest data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed the daily average arrivals have dropped to 1,218 from 1,526 in July. The highest daily average arrivals were in March with over 3,600, but the numbers kept crumbling as ramifications of the economic crisis and political upheaval.
The UK topped the tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with 18% or 6,776 tourists despite the adverse travel advisories, followed by India with 5,340 tourists (14%) and Germany with 3,251 (9%).
India remains strong as the top tourist source market for Sri Lanka YTD with cumulative number of arrivals at 80,132 followed by UK 65,655, Russia with 49,747, Germany 40,359, France 28,235, Canada 19,056, Australia 18,412, US 14,259, Ukraine 13,908, and Poland 13,334.
Earnings from tourism in the first seven months were at $ 824.9 million, as against $ 50.4 million in the corresponding period of 2021, as per Central Bank provisional data.
In July, tourism earnings were estimated at $ 85.1 million, compared to $ 6.3 million a year ago.
Despite the multiple challenges, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry looks to be in high season, as they ramp up efforts to achieve the set target of one million arrivals and boost foreign exchange inflows to overcome the economic woes.