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How will Sri Lanka Tourism close for 2023?

Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister Harin Fernando who is currently attending the World Travel Mart (WTM) in London, expressed confidence that by the end of the year tourism earnings will reach $ 2.5 billion – given that the industry has bounced back to earn nearly US$ 1.6 billion during the first ten months of the year.


Encouraged by the boost in arrivals in 2023, the Minister went on to reveal that Sri Lanka Tourism has set an ambitious target of welcoming 2.5 million tourists and earning $ 4 billion in income next year.


He also mentioned that the new tagline of Sri Lanka Tourism, “You’ll come back for more” was well received by the participants. According to the Minister; “Statistics show that 33% of tourists are repeat travelers and it augurs well in attracting high-spending repeat visitors.”


Fernando added that the tourism industry has not only weathered the storms but emerged more robust, contributing significantly to the economic revival. 


Earlier this month, the Minister also expressed his confidence that Sri Lanka Tourism will attract a total 1.6 million International visitors in 2023.


With total arrivals to the country just over 1.12 million -year-to-date ending October, it would require 2023’s remaining months of November and December to collectively welcome 480,000 arrivals… for that to happen.


The delay of the visa free policy for seven countries – pushed back from coming into effect in the first week in November, to after the country’s Annual Budget presentation and beyond, is a set-back that could derail the Minister’s prediction from materializing.


Nonetheless, as the winter season approaches, hoteliers are looking forward to a good last quarter before saying adieu to 2023.  It’s been a relatively better year for hoteliers as occupancy and room rates continue their positive trajectory.


In other news, with India continuing to stand strong as Sri Lanka’s largest source market for tourism, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has noted that stronger government-level cooperation is required to further benefit from the travel trend. Suggestions cited by CCC include improving air connectivity, reducing flight costs and treating Colombo like a domestic destination for Indian travelers.


Hospitality Sri Lanka



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