Bumper year for tourism in Sri Lanka

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TRAVEL GAZETTE – The Sri Lankan government said on Thursday that tourist arrivals in the island nation hit an all-time high in July with the number of tourist arrivals exceeding 200,000 in one month alone.

In a statement, Sri Lanka’s Tourism Ministry said with the arrival of 209,351 tourists, it was the highest number recorded in a single month since records began in the 1960s.

“What is significant is that the July arrivals figure is higher than even the figure recorded last December which is traditionally Sri Lanka’s highest grossing month in the tourism calendar. Last December too was a record at the time with 206,114 arrivals but the July performance has eclipsed this mark,” the statement said.

Sri Lankan Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said the government was “very happy” that its efforts were paying off.

He added that a worldwide destination promotion campaign on a multi-media platform will be launched towards November this year.

“This campaign will essentially target the high season traffic and will use digital platforms in a big way,” the minister said.

The statement said in terms of the growth, according to country specific data, China with 163,473 visitors continued to show the highest growth in arrivals at 36.6 percent for the period January to July 2016.

The second highest growth in arrivals had been from Australia with 38,657 visitors showing a growth rate of 19.8 percent followed by Britain with 110,649 visitors at 18.7 percent.

“We are happy to see the growth all round especially in emerging markets like Australia which is very encouraging. We are on course to another record breaking year,” said the minister.

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