Sri Lanka to attract 2.5 mn arrivals for 2018
Sri Lanka Tourism is aiming for all time record revenue of US$ 4 billion from the industry for 2018, said Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga.
Speaking at the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM) 39th Graduation Ceremony at the BMICH main conference hall yesterday, he said that this will better last year’s revenue of US$ 3 billion.
Minister said the tourism industry is an important contributor to the national economy and it has been moving to be among the highest foreign exchange earners. “Today Tourism is the third highest FOREX earner and soon it would be number two.”
Amaratunge also said that The City of Colombo today is attracting top global hotel chains and this too shows the confidence they have in Sri Lankan Tourism.
“However, I would like to see some of these global hotel chains moving out of Colombo and investing in the regions as well.”
Commenting on the arrivals Minister said that there is positive trend and this will continue.
“Last year Sri Lanka attracted 2.1 million tourist arrivals and we predict that Sri Lanka will pass the 2.5 million arrival figure by end of 2018.”
“For the first five months of 2018 so far 1 million visitors have come to Sri Lanka and the 2.5 million arrival target is a reality.”
China, India, Britain, France and Germany are the five key international tourist markets.
Minister however said that the 2.5 million mark is still not adequate.
“If you compare this arrival figure to the region we cannot be satisfied. We have to do more to attract additional tourists and this is currently being done.”