Sri Lanka Tourism achieves record-breaking 750,000 arrivals
Achieving yet another remarkable milestone in the country’s booming tourism industry, Sri Lanka Tourism welcomed the arrival of the 750,000th tourist in 2011 at the Bandaranaike International Airport yesterday.
This is the first-ever time that the tourism industry has received arrivals exceeding the 700,000 mark in any given year, making it a groundbreaking figure in tourism records.
A team of officials from the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau and representatives from the Ministry of Economic Development welcomed the guest Mohomad Albordiny and wife (Palestinian) who arrived in Sri Lanka from Doha at 4:15 p.m.
During 2010, the total number of tourist arrivals recorded was 654,476 as opposed to 750,000 so far, which is a 34.2% annual growth.
This year has seen a huge contribution from Latin American, Caribbean and Western European countries including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France Netherland, UK and Germany. These regions alone have attracted 250, 847 tourists, sharing a major portion out of the 750,000 arrivals recorded so far.
Sri Lanka Tourism offered a special gift and a complimentary package to the tourist who arrived today, keeping its promise of rewarding the 750,000th tourist, and similar rewards were available for the 250,000th 500,000th and 600,000th tourist who visited Sri Lanka in 2011.
At the beginning of 2011, Sri Lanka Tourism launched its marketing campaign titled ‘Refreshingly Sri Lanka – Visit 2011,’ with the aim of showcasing Sri Lanka as an island of newfound freedom; a place where the visitor can experience everything that is refreshing under the sun.
With this new branding, Sri Lanka Tourism promoted eight segments encapsulating eight wonderful experiences which a tourist can enjoy within eight days: Pristine, Heritage, Bliss, Thrills, Festivities, Essence, Scenic Beauty and Wildlife. These eight experiences were further stretched into 12 sub-themes to promote each month of 2011, including beaches, sports and adventure, MICE, people and culture, religious tourism, weddings and honeymoons, body and mind wellness, heritage, nature and wildlife, community and education, culinary and shopping and entertainment.
Sri Lanka Tourism’s aim with this campaign was to amalgamate domestic and international markets alike into one cohesive platform to develop these products by the end of the year, promoting Sri Lanka as a destination that can offer refreshing experiences for anyone who visits. All promotional activities and events in the next couple of years will be aimed at achieving the target number of 2.6 million tourists by 2016.