17 May 2010

Sri Lanka Tourist Arrivals Grow - Statistics from 1999 Show an Upward Trend

03rd May 2010, www.dailynews.lk, By Ruchika Kher

Sri Lanka is witnessing an upswing in tourism. The island with abundant natural beauty is luring visitors, particularly from India, not just with sun, sand and sea but also with new attractions like Ayurveda and adventure.

“The tourism figures in the first quarter have doubled in comparison to last year, with nearly 16 percent of it being tourist arrivals from India,” said Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Managing Director Dileep Mudadeniya.

“After the historic defeat of terrorism, the tourism industry has been on the rise with increased interest from foreign tourists as well. Tourism is finally seeing an upward trend. I’ve been working non-stop since December. Usually I used to work for just 18 days a month, but after the war ended there has been an upswing in tourists and thus more work for me,” said National Tourist Guides organization Secretary General Wije Manawadu.

“We are looking at 2011, which we call the year of Sri Lanka. We are focusing on bringing close to 1.5 million tourists to the country by that time.”

“At the moment we have close to 14,500 hotel rooms in the country. The government is trying to bring it up to close to 50,000 by then,” he added. Developmental programs and marketing strategies are being worked out to lure as many foreign visitors as possible.

“Vigorous promotions in terms of trade and consumer fairs will take place in our key markets; this includes Britain, the Middle East, India, France, Germany and China.

The communications campaign will also be launched in these markets,” said Mudadeniya. “Traditionally the product offering has been restricted to sun, sand and sea. However, now, new product offerings are being developed to improve the experiential component of tourism. They include Ayurveda, wildlife, eco-tourism and adventure tourism, to name a few,” said Mudadeniya.

Even tourists are happy to be in the country that boasts of beautiful, clean beaches, tempting water sports, breathtaking mountains, bounteous rivers and waterfalls and an abundance of wildlife.

“I’m here for the first time and I have to say that it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited.

It’s hot here no doubt, but the scenic beauty is breathtaking. I’m enjoying my time here,” said Linda Christopher who is from London and staying at the Mount Lavinia hotel.

Jasmine Shankar from India said: “I had planned to come to Sri Lanka with my husband four years ago, but everyone discouraged us because of the terrorist problem here. I’m glad that finally now, when it’s over, we have got a chance to come here and see the place. It’s beautiful.”

The country is also pinning its hope on the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Award that will take place in Colombo from June 3-5. The number of visitors is expected to increase manifold during the event.

“This event will help us change our image internationally and will confirm that we can host an event of a big magnitude,” said Tourism Ministry Secretary George Michael.


Sri Lanka Tourist Arrivals up 47pct in April 2010
Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka rose 47.0 percent to 38,300 in April 2010 from a year earlier with strong growth in Western European and South Asian generating markets, data from the island's tourism office showed.

Sri Lanka Tourist Arrivals up 68% in February 2010
Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka surged to 67.7%, approximately 57,300 arrivals, in February 2010, as compared to 447,890 in 2009 and 44,551 in 2008. Moreover, there has been a steep increase of visitors, namely from India, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

Sri Lanka Tourist Arrivals (2009 to 2010)
A comparisan chart and other statistics from SLTDA.

Sri Lanka Tourism Statistics at a Glance (1999 to 2008)
This page from SLTDA gives you an insight in to key statistical indicators of Sri Lanka Tourism Industry. Please click the relevant link to access the graphical representation of data.

Survey on Departing Foreign Tourists from Sri Lanka (Sep 2008 to Feb 2009)
The Research Division of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority conducted a survey of departing foreign tourists at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) during the period from September 2008 to February 2009. The main objective of this survey was to obtain information on visitor profile, travel behaviour and expenditure patterns and opinions and impressions of tourists on the levels of satisfaction they had while on their holiday in Sri Lanka.

Highlights of Performance of Sri Lanka Tourism - 2008
Year 2008 marked a turning point for Sri Lanka Tourism as it recorded a dip, and then the start of an upswing, as a result of the end of war.

Annual Statistical Reports - SLTDA
Yearly, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority produces a report that assesses the year’s performance. The key performance indicators are as follows:
* Trends and Structural Characteristics of Tourist Traffic
* Scheduled Airline Operations and Passenger Movements
* Accommodation Industry - Capacity and its Utilization
* Income and Employment
* Tourist Pricing
* Foreign Travel by Sri Lankans
* Growth of Travel and Tourism
* Revenue from Tourism

Monthly Statistical Bulletin - SLTDA
Monthly statistical bulletin which consists of information on tourist arrivals and hotel occupancy.



  2. SLTDA Annual Statistical Report for 2010 is not yet available. It should be online shortly and Pl keep checking.

  3. This is very impressive as far as Sri Lanka tourism is concerned.


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