Tourist arrivals grow 18.7% in August
Cumulative arrivals cross 1.1 m at 17.1%
Scandinavian arrival surge 31.9%
China beats India for 2nd month in a row
In the backdrop of tourist arrivals picking up to grow by 18.7% in August 2015 and cumulative numbers registering 17.1% at 1172,465 visitors to Sri Lanka, the industry received a boost when the key market of Scandinavia will have the presence of the Swedish Royal family at the Sri Lanka Pavilion at the TUR Fair 2015 be staged in September, said Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Chairman Dr. Rohantha Athukorala.
The TUR fair attracts the top tourism professionals in the Scandinavian region where Sri Lanka Tourism will profile the country with a road show in Stockholm and then followed with a Sri Lankan cuisine night that will lead to the Sri Lanka Tourism Pavilion hosting the auctioning of the Ceylon Blue Sapphire.
Athukorala went on to state: “August tourism arrivals are encouraging but we must attract the $ 250 plus tourists and we must use every attraction that Sri Lanka product has so that this end result can be achieved so that industry financial viability is addressed whilst promoting the country.”
“The Scandinavian market is registering a 30 plus growth as at end August 2015 with Norway registering 34.6%, Sweden 26.6%, Denmark 35.4% and Finland at 35.5% which is above the average growth rate and we must continue this thrust with the digital marketing strategy we are activating and the private sector B2B meetings that will happen with the tourism sector professions of Scandinavia,” he said.
“The 1.1 million visitor arrivals include the Chinese market once again overtaking India with a staggering 73.3% in August but on a cumulative basis India leads the market mix with a 193,437 visitors and growing at 27.9%,” said Athukorala, which shows the changing landscape of Sri Lanka.
“The good news is that traditional markets like Western Europe remains robust with a 377,340 visitors at a growth of 15.4 which is the highest revenue earning market for Sri Lanka and accounts for over 22% of the revenue mix which we will further develop with the focussed marketing program that we have unleashed in this market,” commented Athukorala. “This market gives us our bread and butter hence we must protect and develop this segment, which is what the Sri Lanka Tourism strategy includes.”