Sri Lanka tourist arrivals starting to recover in June

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals are starting to recover from Easter Sunday attacks, a top official said, with many countries relaxing travel warnings and measures being taken to push industry.

Tourist arrivals fell to about 1,300 a day in May 2018, down 70 percent from a year earlier according to official data.

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Board chairman Kishu Gomes said arrivals had picked up to 2000 per day in early June and had recovered further towards the end of the month.

"As expected, the numbers went down very low to around 1000 (arrivals per day), but in just over eight weeks we were able to go back to 2500 arrivals a day," he said on June 27.

This is half of the 4900 a day arrivals seen in June 2018.

Over three dozen countries had issued travel advisories in May and June, but all key markets had removed them, faster than many expected.

Authorities had expected the industry to take more than a year to get back to normal, based on the reaction in other markets hit by terror attacks but optimism is rising that Sri Lanka will be able to make a substantial recovery before that.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera was quoted in reports saying that the recovery is happening faster than expected.

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau is also working with the industry to boost arrivals.

In June, the agency launched a promotional campaign tour package in India, Sri Lanka’s largest source market.

A digital market campaign was launched in UK and France.

The SLTPB in collaboration with the organizers of Colombo Fashion Week are planning to bring down Sachin Tendulkar and two other Bollywood celebrities to host an international festival in the first week of August.

You may also read:

Sachin Tendulkar, Bollywood stars to visit Sri Lanka to boost tourism

 Sri Lanka still Lonely Planet’s top destination for 2019

State-run Daily News reported that Prime Minister has asked ground handling fees to be cut at Colombo airport. (COLOMBO/02/07/2019)