ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka welcomed close to 70,000 tourists in December till Boxing Day, the highest in a month since the pandemic hit the country in March 2020, according to official data.
According to a data snippet shared by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), from December 01 to 26, a total of 69,941 tourists arrived in the island, taking the total number of arrivals for the full year to 174,930.
India has remained the key source market in December with 19,574 Indians visiting the country followed by Russia with 7,951 and the United Kingdom with 6,819.
This is the highest reported arrivals to Sri Lanka in 20 months.
Tourism officials are hopeful that the country will record at least 100,000 arrivals per month in 2022 which will be 50 percent of monthly arrivals seen in 2018.
Sri Lanka welcomed the highest ever number of tourists in 2018 with 2.3 million arrivals, which dipped to 1.9 million following the Easter Sunday bombings in April 2019.
For the first three months in 2020, Sri Lanka recorded 507,000 tourists.
However McKinsey & Company, a business consultancy, told an economic forum in Colombo early this month that Sri Lanka may take up to five years to again reach the highest ever arrival figure recorded in 2018 due to international and domestic factors that can constraint the sector. (Colombo/Dec30/2021)