These details have been given in a journal published by newly formed Centre for Research and Sustainable Studies in Tourism. The study says that the direct contribution by the tourism sector is expected to reach Rs. 402.4 billion in 2022 from 219.7 (3.4 percent of total GDP) at present. The World Travel and Tourism Council forecasted a 5.7 percent growth annually in direct contribution to the country’s GDP.
According to several recent research, investments in travel and tourism is expected to grow 8.5 percent this year and continue at 5.5 percent per annum to Rs. 127.2 billion by 2022 frompresent Rs. 68.9 billion. The research showed that the country gained largely on visitor exports which accounted for 12.6 percent of total exports from the country. It generated more than Rs. 140 billion last year and is expected to grow 4.4 percent this year and there by 5.3 percent per annum to reach Rs. 244.6 billion by 2022.
Sri Lanka has identified tourism as a key sector to develop the economy and expects more than 2.5 million tourists by 2016 and launched the research centre to provide assistance to both the public sector and private sector. In 2011 the Tourism sector supported 236,500 direct jobs and accounted for 3 percent of the total employment of the country and is expected to create 56,500 additional jobs by 2022 accounting for 3.6 percent of the total employment of the country. As per the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority statistics, tourist arrivals during the first eight months of this year increased by 15.8 percent to 622,661 from 537,787 recorded in the corresponding period last year, while arrivals in August increased by 9.7 percent to 79,456 from 72,463 in 2011.