04 January 2012

800,000th Tourist in 2011 to Visit Sri Lanka Welcomed at Bandaranaike International Airport


19th December 2011, srilanka.travel

Achieving another remarkable milestone in the country’s booming tourism industry, Sri Lanka Tourism welcomed the arrival of 800,000th tourist in year 2011 at the Bandaranaike International Airport today (19th Dec.) evening. A team of tourism officials headed by the Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism-Dr.Nalaka Godahewa and Managing Director –Mr. Rumy Jauffeur with a group of representatives from travel and tourism Industry warmly welcomed the guest  Mr. John Chambi and Mrs. Nadia Chambi  who arrived via UL 510 Sri Lankan Airlines flight from London.

This is the first time ever; the tourism industry has received number of arrivals exceeding 800,000 in any given year, making it a ground breaking figure in tourism records. Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism-Dr.Nalaka Godahewa and Managing Director –Mr. Rumy Jauffeur with a group of representatives from travel and tourism Industry warmly welcomed the guest who arrived via UL 501 Sri Lankan Airlines flight from London.

Sri Lanka Tourism offered a special gift and a complimentary package to the tourist who arrived today to visit country’s well- known attractions. During year 2010, total number of tourist arrivals were recorded as 654,476 nos. as opposed to 800,000 in 2012 so far, which is a 33.1% annual growth. This year has seen a massive contribution to this total from India, Japan, Germany, U.K, France, Netherlands, Italy, and Middle Eastern countries. The month of November 2011 breaks another record being the month which received the highest number of tourists - 90,889 numbers in the history of Sri Lanka Tourism calender years.

The arrival of 800,000th tourist has turned everyone’s eyes on country’s fast growing tourism sector which has started sending positive signals of its promising future ahead.At the beginning of year 2011 Sri Lanka Tourism launched their marketing campaign named as “Refreshingly Sri Lanka – Visit 2011”,with the aim of showcasing Sri Lanka as an Island of new found freedom; a place where the visitor can experience everything that is refreshing under the sun.With this new branding, Sri Lanka tourism promoted 8 segments encapsulating 8 wonderful experiences a tourist can enjoy within eight days such as: Pristine,Heritage Bliss, Thrills, Festivities, Essence, Scenic beauty and Wild Life. These eight experiences were further stretched into twelve sub-themes to promote each month of 2011, including beaches, sports & adventure, MICE, people & culture, religious tourism, weddings & honeymoons, body & mind wellness, heritage, nature & wildlife, community & education, culinary and shopping & entertainment.

Under the guidance of Minister of Economic Development-Hon. Basil Rajapakse, a five year strategic development plan has been launched for tourism sector for year 2011-2016, based on the Mahinda Chintana -Vision for the Future - Development Policy Framework. This strategic development plan of Sri Lanka tourism will achieve its core objectives serving the needs of all stakeholders and ensuring the economic benefits of the industry distributed to a larger cross section of the society from fisherman,carftman,farmer,streetvendor,tourguide,touroperator,up to the Hotel industry. During this 5 year period the country targets to attract US$ 3,000 million worth Foreign Direct investment (FDI) from tourism sector most of which will be invested in tourism infrastructure development. There will be an increase in the foreign exchange earnings from US$ 500 million in 2010 to USD 2.75 billion by the year 2016. A huge increase is expected in the tourism related employment from 125,000 in 2010 to 500,000 by 2016.

The key strengths of the country that will be highlighted in all promotional campaigns for the next five years in Sri Lanka Tourism would be the (a) diversity, (b) compactness and (c) authenticity the country beholds as a tourism destination. The government of Sri Lanka has devised a comprehensive marketing campaign for this five year period focusing internally on product development and the overseas promotional campaign will be developed systematically through several innovative approaches. Sri Lanka Tourism is currently developing a highly interactive web portal for tourism promotions which can be accessed by any potential tourist who needs information about the country, attractions, events, accommodation, tours organizers, transport etc. Sri Lanka Tourism’s official web-site will serve as the window of serving all information needs of the travelers worldwide. The priority of all marketing efforts in the next couple of years will also be channeled through social networking web sites including Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Youtube etc. Sri Lanka Tourism will continue to expedite successful programms conducted during year 2011 including the visiting journalists programme (VJP) attracting nearly 200 journalists from reputed media institutes around the world to visit Sri Lanka and generate positive publicity based on their authentic experience to serve attracting potential travelers to the destination. This year Sri Lanka Tourism focus webpage marketing visiting journalist programme ,trade fairs, which has brought positive result. Social Networks sites (SNS) of Sri Lanka Tourism has been very popular sites for the fans. Sri Lanka Tourism Face Book fan page has reached a growth of 550% reaching over 4.3 million viewers.  Sri Lanka Tourism will work closely with the foreign missions and Sri Lankan Airlines offices abroad to undertake country specific promotions. The tourism industry will continue their participation in more than 16 Trade Fairs annually such as ITB –Berlin, WTM –London, ATM- Middle East, TopReza –France representing important markets for Sri Lanka Tourism.  

All promotional activities and strategic planning of the government of Sri Lanka is aimed at achieving the target number of 2.5 million tourists by 2016. Accordingly, tourism industry is expected to take a quantum leap in the next five years, serving the country at all levels of economic, social and cultural facets and addressing the wider issues related to the industry covering the sustainability, manpower, infrastructure developments, improving service standards, regulations, guidelines, public relations, tourist safety at a wider scale.

With the visionary leadership of H.E. the president Mahinda Rajapakse and the Hon. Minister Basil Rajapakse the tourism industry is poised for growth being in line with the national effort of making Sri Lanka, the emerging Wonder of Asia.

Related Info :

Sri Lanka Tourism Statistics and Tourist Arrivals

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