Sri Lanka expects a million European tourists in 2018, new markets grow fast
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will get around one million tourists from Europe this year, said Chamindra Goonewardene, Director of Operations at Santani Wellness Resort and Spa.
As of October this number was at 800,000, and it will probably hit the one million mark by the end of the year with peak season coming up, he said.
Around 43 percent of total arrivals to Sri Lanka came from Europe this year, said Goonewardene.
Throughout the last 10 years, Europe has consistently maintained an average of 39-40 percent, he said.
This is not purely because of typical source markets like the UK, France and Germany, which only make up around 50 percent of European arrivals.
There are a lot of emerging markets for tourism from Europe, he said.
Arrivals from the Czech Republic have grown by almost 60 percent compared to last year, and Poland by around 52 percent.
Spain, Austria and Denmark have all grown by around 30 percent, a rate they have been maintaining for the past 10 years.
“We constantly talk about the short haul markets being China, India and the Middle East, but it is also vital to think about Europe.”
“There is a lot of potential in these (European) markets. The visitors are also high spenders,” said Goonewardene.
These comments were made at a forum organised by the European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka, on marketing to Europe. (COLOMBO, 31 October 2018)