Achieving another remarkable milestone in the country’s booming tourism industry, Sri Lanka Tourism welcomed the arrival of 750,000th tourist in year 2011 at the Bandaranaike International Airport today (24th Nov.) evening. This is the first time ever; the tourism industry has received number of arrivals exceeding 700,000 mark in any given year making it a ground breaking figure in tourism records. A team of officials from Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau and representatives from Ministry of Economic Development welcomed the guest Mr.Mohomad Albordiny and wife(Palestinian) who arrived to Sri Lanka via QR 302 flight from Doha at 4:15 p.m.
During year 2010 , total number of tourist arrivals recorded was 654,476 nos. as opposed to 750,000 so far, which is a 34.2% annual growth. This year has seen a huge contribution from Latin American, Caribbean & western European countries including Austria, Belgium,Denmark ,France Netherland, UK and Germany. These regions alone have attracted 250, 847 tourists sharing a major portion out of the 750,000 arrivals recorded so far.
Sri Lanka Tourism offered a special gift and a complimentary package to the tourist arrived today keeping its promise of rewarding the 750,000th tourist and similar rewards were available for the 250,000th 500,000th , 600,000th tourist who visited Sri Lanka in the year 2011.
At the beginning of year 2011 Sri Lanka Tourism launched their marketing campaign named as “Refreshingly Sri Lanka – Visit 2011”,with the aim of showcasing Sri Lanka as an Island of 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 8 segments encapsulating 8 wonderful experiences which a tourist can enjoy within eight days such as: Pristine ,Heritage ,Bliss, Thrills, Festivities, Essence, Scenic beauty and Wild Life. These eight experiences were further stretched into twelve sub-themes to promote each month of 2011, including beaches, sports & adventure, MICE, people & culture, religious tourism, weddings & honeymoons, body & mind wellness, heritage, nature & wildlife, community & education, culinary and shopping & entertainment.
Sri Lanka Tourism’s aim with this campaign was to amalgamate domestic and international markets alike into one cohesive platform to develop these products by the end of the year, promoting Sri Lanka as a destination that can offer refreshing experiences for anyone who visit it . 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 2016.