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April showers heated outcomes on Sri Lanka's tourism rebound

According to the revised data, released by the Tourism authorities, April arrivals totaled 148,867.


The revision is because arrivals for April 27th and 28th, previously reported at 3,995 and at 2,888, respectively, are now shown as 5,757 arrivals for the 27th, and 4,054 for the 28th.


The changes, according to a tourist office spokesperson is due to the tourist arrival numbers been updated as per the new visa categories introduced by the Department of Immigration and Emigration. No elaboration as to these changes was provided.


India with 27,304 (18%) arrivals from that country retained the top slot in the ‘Top 10 Source Markets’ listing, followed by Russia with 15,103 tourists (10%), the UK taking 3rd place 13,173 (9%), with Germany and France occupying 4th and 5th positions - by producing 9,843 (7%) and 8792 (6%) visitors, respectively.  China, Australia, the US, Canada and the Netherlands make it to the list in that order.


The top ten countries, collectively generated 102, 540 tourists in April 2024, and this equates to 69% of the month’s total 148,867 arrivals.


A total 784,651 arrivals have been recorded during the period January to April 2024, with Indians leading the way by producing 123,583 tourists. Russia with 106, 308 visitors and the UK with 71,992 travelers make up the leading three countries to have generated the most, thus far.


April 2024 arrivals were up 41% over the same-month-last year. However, this is the first time the month-on-month upward trajectory, seen over the past four months this year, has dipped below the 50% mark.


Furthermore, April 2024 actual arrivals are well off the originally targeted 160,000+ and the stretch target of 180,000+.


At the ‘National Development Pride Conference’ of the Development Lottery Board held on 29th April 2024, the State Minister of Finance expressed confidence in exceeding the $ 5 billion mark by year-end, driven by the strong growth in the tourism sector. For 2024, Sri Lanka Tourism has set a target to attract 2.3 million tourists and generate revenue of over $ 4 billion.


In the backdrop of this, warning signs are emerging that Sri Lanka may not be able to reach the targeted 2.3 million visitors in 2024 due to a high-priced visa system contracted out to a private operator which is one of the most expensive in Asia and also alleged to be complex, unlike the much easier system run by the Department of Immigration until mid April’24.


In other news, the Country’s Tourism Minister said on Friday (3rd April), that price floors imposed by authorities to protect some city hotels, which the industry say has made Sri Lanka noncompetitive compared to East Asia will be removed from the end of the month.


Hospitality Sri Lanka



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