Monday, December 11, 2023

Sri Lanka targets USD 5 b from tourism next year – Tourism Authority chief

by damith
November 19, 2023 1:20 am 0 comment 1.3K views

By Shirajiv Sirimane
Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Priantha Fernando receives a token of appreciation from Chairman CMA, Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala. Pic: Sudath Malaweera

Sri Lanka will generate a revenue of over USD 5 billion from tourism receipts next year, said Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Priantha Fernando at a post-Budget forum in Colombo on Wednesday.

It was organised by the Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka (CMA) in partnership with Ram Ratings (Lanka) Ltd.

He said that this USD 5 billion would be the highest ever revenue figure generated by the industry. The industry targets 2.3 million in the number of tourist arrivals for next year.

Fernando said that this year too they will exceed their projection and will net in USD 2.3 billion in revenue and 1.6 million in the number of arrivals.

“This year for the first time in the history of tourism we also attracted 7,500 tourists per day. “Our target for 2029 is USD 8 to 9 billion in revenue and four million arrivals.”

He, however, said that tourism can do better if the bottle neck of increasing ‘air seat’ capacity could be addressed. “Before Covid and the Easter Sunday attacks Sri Lanka had 52 airlines operating to Sri Lanka but now this has dropped to 32. Tourism urgently needs to bring back more airlines.”

Fernando, commenting on the Budget, said that the industry stakeholders expected more for tourism. ”The Industry still is in debt to over Rs. 700 billion to banks, leasing companies and they were expecting some concessions or a system to pay back their debt on better interest rates. Industry stakeholders indicated to us that this key area was not addressed.”

Sri Lanka currently has 4,595 units offering 53, 070 rooms. This includes ‘home stay’ as well.

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