Tourism industry flourishes with over 700,000 arrivals
• First 18 days of July draw 80,080 tourists, pushing cumulative arrivals to 704,954
• China makes strong comeback to top three markets behind India and UK in July so far
• India leads as top market YTD followed by Russia and UK
• Tourism Minister Harin Fernando hails industry stakeholders’ efforts for strong comeback
Sri Lanka’s tourism sector continues to thrive as it surpasses the significant milestone of 700,000 tourist arrivals, demonstrating the country’s resilience and allure as a favoured holiday destination. Despite being the off-peak season, the daily average of tourist arrivals has shown remarkable improvement, with over 4,449 visitors flocking to the country each day, underscoring the growing interest in Sri Lanka among global travellers.
Boosted by a surge of Indian travellers, Sri Lanka has warmly welcomed 704,954 tourists so far, leaving only 15,024 arrivals required to achieve last year’s full figure of 719,978.
“The steady growth of Sri Lanka’s tourism industry and the diverse range of tourists from around the world demonstrate the country’s ability to captivate travellers with its unique attractions, warm hospitality, and unforgettable experiences. As the industry continues to thrive, Sri Lanka remains a must-visit destination for all globetrotters seeking a blend of culture, nature, and adventure,” remarked Tourism Minister Harin Fernando to the Daily FT.
In the first 18 days of the month, a total of 80,080 visitors have arrived in the country, while an additional 57,514 more visitors are expected to achieve the monthly target.
India takes the lead as the top source market, contributing 13,778 tourist arrivals, constituting 17% of the total visitors so far. Following closely behind are the UK with 8,600 tourists (11%), China with 5,002 tourists (6%), Germany with 4,674 tourists (6%), and Russia with 4,435 tourists (5%).
The latest data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) also showed tourists arriving from other countries such as Maldives, France, Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands.
China’s rapid ascent to the top three source markets is noteworthy, attributed to the resumption of operations by its national carrier, Air China, with three weekly flights.
With a cumulative number of arrivals at 129,971, Indian tourists are positioned to remain the strongest source market for Sri Lanka year-to-date, followed by Russia with 114,710 arrivals and the UK with 59,422 arrivals. Germany and France also contributed significantly with 49,871 and 31,514 arrivals, respectively.
The Minister said the credit for the industry’s growth should go to all stakeholders for all their tireless efforts. “It is a testament to the concerted efforts made to revive the industry, showcasing Sri Lanka’s immense potential as a top-notch location for travellers,” Fernando added.
Building on the positive momentum, Sri Lanka Tourism has expressed confidence in the industry’s potential to welcome two million arrivals and generate $ 3.7 billion in income this year. Looking ahead, the country has set ambitious goals of increasing arrivals to 5 million and generating an impressive $ 21.6 billion in revenue by 2030.