Sri Lanka targets four million tourists this year | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka targets four million tourists this year

Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals during the year 2018 has registered a healthy growth of 10.3% reaching to 2,333,796 million tourists compared to 2,116,407 million tourist arrivals in 2017, according to official data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA).

In terms of arrivals, March, February, June, and November recorded the highest growth rates while December recorded the highest number of arrivals of 253,169 for the year 2018.

“Although the tourist arrivals for the year 2018 fell slightly short due to the political instability we saw post October 26, I think in terms of earnings we have reached the Rs. 3.5 billion target,” Minister of Tourism Development, John Amaratunga said. He also added that with Lonely Planet ranking Sri Lanka as the number one destination to travel in 2019 and the new promotional plans, he is optimistic Sri Lanka will receive four million tourists and generate an income of over $5 billion by the end of 2019. According to the Authority, India, China, the United Kingdom, and Germany continued to dominate as the top source markets to Sri Lanka in 2018, and a significant growth of arrivals was seen from Australia. In the South East Asia region, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation figures, in 2017, Thailand had over 35 million tourists, Japan 28 million, Singapore 14 million, Indonesia 13 million and Malaysia 26 million.