Tourist arrivals top 600,000 mark in 1Q

Monday, 1 April 2024 04:34 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

- Pic by Ruwan Walpola 

  • First 27 days of March draw 181,876 tourists pushing cumulative figure to 608,475
  • Industry expresses confidence in exceeding 200,000 arrivals in March
  • India, Russia, UK emerge as top source markets during 1Q

In a promising start to 2024, Sri Lanka Tourism has seen a significant uptick in arrivals during the first quarter welcoming over 600,000 visitors. 

Sri Lanka has drawn a total of 181,876 tourists during the first 27 days of March, pushing the cumulative number to 608,475. Figures for the full month of March are expected this week.

Given its daily average arrivals of 6,736 tourists, industry stakeholders expressed confidence in exceeding an influx of over 200,000 during the last month of the winter season. They said it was the best winter season the industry had experienced post-Easter Sunday bombings in 2019.

Sri Lanka welcomed over 200,000 tourists since December 2023, marking a hat trick. The 218,350 arrivals in February recorded the highest number of visitors since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.

The first week of March saw 47,221 tourists and the trend slowed down in the second week, whilst peaking during the third week to 47,972 and slowing again during the fourth week with 42,696 visitors.

During the first 27 days of March, India dominated arrivals with 28,218 tourists, followed by Russia with 25,112, Germany with 16,745. 

India also maintains its position as the top tourist source market for Sri Lanka year-to-date (YTD), with a cumulative total of 92,644 arrivals, followed by Russia with 88,301, UK with 53,928, Germany with 46,597, and China with 37,567 arrivals.

For 2024, Sri Lanka Tourism has set an ambitious target to welcome 2.3 million tourists and earn over $ 4.5 billion.