Tourism sector aims at ‘golden double’
Sri Lanka’s tourism sector is heading towards achieving a golden
double by recording one million tourist arrivals and one billion US
dollars in revenue soon.
The 750,000th tourist being welcomed at the Colombo Airport by
Sri Lanka Tourism officials
Permanent peace was the key towards achieving this target as the
terrorist problem that prevailed for 30 years saw several adverse travel
advisories issued against Sri Lanka, which discouraged foreign tourists
from visiting this country. Today, Sri Lankan tourism industry
stakeholders say that Sri Lanka is among the safest countries in the
universe, an accolade which even some developed countries are jealous
Last Thursday saw history of the tourism industry in the island being
re-written, when the country welcomed the arrival of the 750,000th
tourist in 2011 at the Bandaranaike International Airport.
This is the first time that the island’s tourism industry witnessed
arrivals exceeding 700,000 in any given year, making it a
ground-breaking figure in tourism records.
A team of officials from the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau and
representatives from the Ministry of Economic Development welcomed the
guest, Mohomad Albordiny and wife(Palestinian) who arrived in Sri Lanka
via QR 302 flight from Doha at 4:15 p.m.
During 2010, the number of tourist arrivals recorded was 654,476 as
opposed to 750,000 so far this year, which is a 34.2 percent annual
growth. This year has seen a huge contribution from Latin American,
Caribbean and western European countries including Austria, Belgium,
Denmark, France, the Netherlands, UK and Germany. These regions have
accounted for 250,847 tourists, sharing a major portion of the 750,000
Sri Lanka Tourism offered a special gift and a complimentary package
to this tourist, keeping its promise of rewarding the 750,000th tourist.
Similar rewards were available for the 250,000th, 500,000th and
600,000th tourist who visited Sri Lanka this year.
At the beginning of 2011, Sri Lanka Tourism launched its marketing
campaign named “Refreshingly Sri Lanka – Visit 2011”, with the aim of
showcasing Sri Lanka as an island with new-found freedom; a place where
the visitor can experience everything that is refreshing under the sun.
With this new branding, Sri Lanka Tourism promoted eight segments
encapsulating eight wonderful experiences which a tourist can enjoy
within eight days. Though Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism, Dr. Nalaka
Godahewa is still not confident, the private sector feels that Sri Lanka
can achieve the one billion US dollar mark by the end of this year.
All promotional activities and events in the next couple of years
will be aimed at achieving the target number of 2.6 million tourists by