By:Staff WriterColombo (LNW): Sri Lanka Government’s cash spinning initiative of promoting and development of Cruise Tourism Marketing Plan with private sector involvement is bearing fruits at present showing signs of attracting ships carrying more than 100,000 visitors in total each year.
The aim of the Tourism Development project is to turn the cruise segment into a top-five source of tourist revenues for the country, Minister Harin Fernando said.
Seventeen cruise ships are scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka this year with Queen Mary 2, one of the largest and most popular ships, a senior official of the ministry said, adding that the island nation is looking for alternative avenues to boost its faltered tourism sector.
The Tourism Ministry also explores the possibility of partnering top blue-chip companies to enter the lucrative 40 billion dollar cruise line business that is estimated to carry 22.3 million passengers, with the market growing at 3.2% in volume.
The Cruise tourism rise is expected to bring thousands of high end tourists with higher spending capacity after two years.
Fourteen cruise ships are scheduled to call from January-May this year and another three are scheduled to arrive in Colombo in November, when the peak tourism season begins.
4,000 cruise tourists have arrived on the island in two Cruise ships to Sri Lanka on the eve of Sinhala and Tamil New Year 2023.
The luxurious cruise ships, MSC Poesia and MSC Magnifica, docked into the port of Colombo with the atmosphere filled with excitement and celebrations. It was arranged by Aitken Spence Travels.
The shore excursion teams from Aitken Spence Travels were on site, ready to delight these visitors with an array of experiences that showcased the very best of Sri Lanka during the holiday season.
From exploring the vibrant local culture through traditional dance shows to enjoying the wonderful Tuk-Tuk rides to experiencing the city life and visiting a variety of attractions to enjoy an unforgettable trip to Sri Lanka were on offer to the visitors.
Sri Lanka was recently ranked in the Forbes list as one of the 23 best places to visit in 2023 and it’s crucial that we maintain our position and become one of the most popular destinations not just in South Asia but in Asia.
Aitken Spence Travels (Destination Management segment of Aitken Spence) has played an instrumental role in growing the cruise tourism operation which has evidently had a positive impact on other key industries such as hospitality, shipping, ports businesses to support the economy.Another luxury cruise ship, Azamara Quest arrived at the Colombo Port in November last year carrying more than 600 passengers, mainly from the US, the third luxury cruise within 16 days from the arrival of the first such cruise liner signaling the revival of the country’s hospitality industry.