Sri Lanka will ink an agreement with the award-winning Dubai-based global airline Emirates to boost tourism.
The landmark agreement will be signed on the side-lines of Sri Lanka's participation at the Expo 2020 in Dubai and celebrations of Sri Lanka National Day today.
The agreement will see Emirates stepping up promotion of Sri Lanka as a safe and attractive destination for holidays.
In November, Emirates announced the addition of two more flights to Colombo to support the resurgence of Sri Lanka’s tourism industry as more key source markets relax travel restrictions. This increased direct flights between Dubai and Colombo to 14-a-week, taking the weekly schedule to Sri Lanka to 21 flights a week.
Sri Lanka saw a total of 194,495 tourist arrivals for 2021. Highest tourist traffic to Sri Lanka was from India, with 56,268; followed by Russia 16,894, UK 16,646, Germany 12,442, and Ukraine 7,037.
Pre-pandemic, a total of 37 international airlines operated to Sri Lanka and the Tourism Ministry is actively engaged in negotiations with all the airlines that operated into the country pre-COVID to encourage them to resume operations, whilst also engaging in attracting new markets via charter flights during the winter season.
Apart from Emirates and Singapore Airlines, the other carriers operating to Sri Lanka include Qatar Airways, Fly Dubai, Air India, Gulf Air, Rossiya Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Saudia, Air Arabia, Oman Airlines, Air Asia, Air France, Etihad Airways, Jazeera Airways, IndiGo, Aeroflot, China Eastern Airlines, Edelweiss Air, Azur Airlines, Air Astana, Lot Polish Airlines, Neos Airlines and Vistara Airlines.