Sri Lanka Tourism celebrates arrival of one-millionth tourist at BIA 

Wednesday, 27 September 2023 00:32 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The millionth tourist, Alex Mazcov, a Russian national and his family was warmly welcomed at the BIA yesterday. Travel Promotion Bureau Directors Dr. Prasad Jayasuriya, Harindra Wijewardana and the airport staff took part in this special event 

          – Pix by Deepa Adikari

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry reached a significant milestone as the 1,000,000th tourist of 2023 was warmly welcomed at Bandaranaike International Airport yesterday, as exclusively reported by the Daily FT on Tuesday ( 

A delegation of senior officials from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) gathered at the airport to mark this momentous occasion, which comes after challenging three years. 

The Mazkov family from Russia, led by Alex Mazkov, became known as the fortunate recipient of this prestigious title. They touched down in Sri Lanka aboard flight WY-373 from Muscat, Oman at 2:10 p.m. The family was graciously presented with special gifts in recognition of being the millionth tourist to arrive in the country in 2023. 

The warm reception accorded to the Mazkov family embodies the hospitality and friendliness that visitors can expect throughout their stay.

“This is my first visit to Sri Lanka. I had heard a lot about Sri Lanka for its beauty. Moreover, Sri Lankans are very hospitable and kind with smiling faces,” Alex Mazkov said.

The last time Sri Lanka welcomed a millionth tourist was in 2019, underscoring the resilience and potential for growth within the tourism sector. 

“This achievement stands as a testament to the concerted efforts of private-sector driven industry after three consecutive challenging years. As Sri Lanka continues to re-establish itself as a sought-after travel destination, the arrival of the one millionth tourist in 2023 serves as a promising sign for industry,” Tourism Minister Harin Fernando told the Daily FT.