In the month of July, Sri Lanka experienced a promising start by attracting approximately 24,000 visitors in just the first six days. This surge in arrivals was primarily driven by Indian tourists, highlighting the increasing allure of Sri Lanka as a preferred travel destination.
India emerged as the dominant contributor to this positive trend, accounting for 18% of the total arrivals, which translates to 4,465 tourists. Following closely behind were the United Kingdom with 9% (2,083 tourists), Germany with 8% (1,537 tourists), and the Maldives and China sharing the same percentage at 8% (1,390 and 1,391 tourists respectively). These figures, based on preliminary data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, demonstrate the diversity of visitors to the country.
Moreover, Sri Lanka also attracted tourists from other significant markets, including Australia, Canada, France, Russia, and the United States. This diverse range of visitors further enriches the tourist profile of the country.
Given the encouraging numbers, Sri Lanka Tourism has set an ambitious target of welcoming 137,594 tourists throughout the entire month of July.
Analyzing the year-to-date figures, India remains the dominant source market for tourism in Sri Lanka, contributing a cumulative total of 120,658 arrivals (19%). Russia closely follows with 111,286 arrivals (17%), while the United Kingdom, Germany, and France account for 8% (52,905), 7% (46,734), and 4% (28,707) of the overall arrivals, respectively.
Industry analysts express optimism, attributing the current influx of visitors and ongoing promotional efforts to the potential achievement of the monthly target. They believe that these developments will reinforce Sri Lanka’s position as a premier travel destination.
Chalaka Gajabahu, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, emphasized the importance of focusing on India and China, along with other targeted markets, as key contributors to the country’s tourism growth. He cited Europe’s enduring economic recession as a reason to prioritize these markets for future tourism endeavors.
In the previous month, Sri Lanka exceeded its tourist arrival target for June, welcoming over 100,000 visitors after a four-year period, despite traditionally being considered a low tourist-generating month. Typically, the period from May to October is regarded as the off-season.
“These encouraging statistics serve as a testament to the diverse attractions that Sri Lanka has to offer. The country’s rich heritage, warm hospitality, and invigorating experiences continue to enthrall travelers from around the world,” added Gajabahu.
The industry also expresses optimism about an upcoming marketing campaign that will commence towards the end of the month.