Lanka to woo one million visitors this year
Sri Lanka will attract around one million tourists by the end of this
year which in international terms will be very good as the percentage
increase will be over 15percent said Jetwing Group of Hotels and Pacific
Asia Travel Association Chairman, Hiran Cooray
He said that Sri Lanka tourism is progressing well by adding new
hotels improving the existing infrastructure. "I feel we will come close
to the target of 2.5 million by 2016.Sri Lanka recorded 855,975 tourist
arrivals last year compaired to 654,476 in 2010." Arrivals from Western
Europe were 315,210 accounting for a 36.8 percent of total arrivals.
Most of the European visitors were from Britain.Another 237,647 or
27.8 percent arrived from South Asia, mainly from India. Tourist
arrivals hit a record high in December 2011 with 97,517, Sri Lanka
Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) data revealed.
“The eonomic recession in the west, Passanger levy introduced in the
United Kingdom, increasing fuel prices, lack of adequate human
resources, natural disasters continue to impact tourism”,Cooray said.Sri
Lanka needs to be marketed and promoted continuously.
Many of the Travellers are not aware of the continuous improvement of
the hotel product in Sri Lanka. Due to this unawareness many guests feel
that we have overpriced ourselves.
“PATA is working on a strategic plan, which is focusing mainly on
being relevant to our members. As an Association that has membership
from Government Industry and the carriers, we are doing our best to help
them grow their business.
It is also important for us to increase our membership base”, the
Association Chief said. PATA will also be providing an opportunity to
Bhutan to host its first international Adventure Mart and Eco Tourism
Conference in February 2012.