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Record February 2024 for Sri Lanka tourism with 218,350 arrivals

Sri Lanka has recorded 218,350 tourist arrivals for February 2024, the highest number per month since January 2020.


This also marks the second consecutive month with over 200,000 arrivals, with January recording as many as 208,253 arrivals.


Russian tourists totaling 32,030 (15%), toppled India from top spot relegating it to 2nd place in the  Top 10 source markets list  for February, with the island’s giant neighbour producing 30,027 arrivals (14%). Occupying 3rd position was the UK with 20,614 visitors (9%), Germany ranked 4th with 16,259 (7%) arrivals whilst China took the 5th place with 14,836 (7%) tourists. France (12,503), Poland (6,909), Australia (6,265), the US (5,709) and the Netherlands (4,011) made it  the top ten, in that order.


Year to date (Jan / Feb), a total 426,603 arrivals have been welcomed by Sri Lanka, with India (64,426 arrivals) slightly ahead of Russia’s 63,189 visitors. The two countries account for nearly 30% of the YTD figure.


The estimated earnings for the initial two months of 2024 amount to USD 710 million.


Sri Lanka’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry says for the first time in history, tourist arrivals to the island may surpass 2.5 million in 2024. He said that considering the tourist arrivals in the months of January and February this year compared to last year, it is clear that the relevant target can be easily achieved. The government aims to attract 2.5 million international visitors in 2024  I.e. an increase of 67% over 2023 and 9% above 2018’s 2.3 million arrivals in 2018.


In early January 2024, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) chairman Priantha Fernando told TTG Asia. “In fact, we are hoping to exceed the 2024 target with an increase in flights and new airlines coming in,”  The number of airlines flying into Sri Lanka in 2018 was 52, which has dropped to 38 today, but more airlines were expected to resume flights this year.


The SLTDA Chairman went on to say that under a new programme launched in China, arrivals from there to Sri Lanka are planned to reach one million by 2025. “If we can hit 400,000-500,000 from China this year, we would well be on the way to achieve another good year, ( In 2018, when Sri Lanka achieved its highest ever yearly arrivals total of 2.3 million visitors, there were Chinese tourists 265,965 in that total).


Hospitality Sri Lanka



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