Tourism kicks off December on a high

Monday, 12 December 2022 00:52 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Swiss travel agents savour Colombo

A group of leading travel agents from Switzerland on invitation from “Let’s Travel” toured the city of Colombo and witnessed the nightlife over the weekend. Here some of the travel agents at Park Street Mews with Tourism Minister Harin Fernando. Top restaurateur Harpo Gooneratne and SLCB Chairman Thisum Jayasuriya are also present

  • Daily arrivals average at 2,310 highest since April
  • SL welcomes 16,169 tourists in first week of Dec., pushing YTD arrivals to 644,168
  • Russia, India and UK respectively emerge as top source markets for December thus far
  • Jan.-Nov. earnings at $ 1.12 b reflecting 313% growth from a year earlier

The tourism industry is off to a promising start in December with the average daily arrivals exceeding 2,300 as opposed to 1,900 in November, marking it the highest since April.

Sri Lanka has welcomed 16,169 tourists during the first week of the month, largely driven by Russian travellers, the provisional data by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.

The first week of December arrivals has also pushed the cumulative figure to date to 644,168, boosting anticipation among the tourism industry for a good start in the winter season which continues till the end of March 2023.

The daily average arrivals have picked up by 31% to 2,310 in the first week of the month, compared to 1,776 recorded in the first week of November.  Russia emerged as the top source market, reflecting 21% or 3,404 of total arrivals during the first seven days followed by India with 18% or 2,856, the United Kingdom with 10% or 1,519, Australia with 6% or 1,016, and Australia with 4% or 683.

The arrival of the luxury cruise liner, Azamara Quest, the resumption of many new international airlines and charter flights as well as the global promotions at the ITM Paris, Indian and WTM were the key reasons for the favourable pick-up arrival figures.

India remains strong as the top tourist source market for Sri Lanka YTD with a cumulative number of arrivals at 108,510, followed by the UK with 78,827, Russia with 74,713, Germany with 51,241, France with 33 231, Australia with 26,782, Canada with 24,826, US 19,265, Maldives 15,974 and Poland 14,726.

Tourism earnings in the first eleven months were at $ 1.12 billion reflecting a 313% increase from the corresponding period of last year impacted by COVID-19.

In November, tourism earnings were estimated at $ 107.5 million, compared to $ 115.4 million in the same period a year earlier.

Sri Lanka lost over $ 10 billion in foreign exchange earnings, which generate over $ 4.3 billion annually, due to the pandemic during the past two years.


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