Sri Lanka tourism recovers from earlier slump


(TVLW) – Tourism has staged a turn around from November, with a robust arrival gain of 20% for the month. The drop-in arrivals peaked in May this year to 40% after the LTTE attack on the Bandaranaike International Airport and the subsequent curfew imposed on night flights.

Since September this year, a recovery was seen with a strong turn into a positive last month. Arrivals for November was 45,102 compared with 37, 591 for the same month last year. With the current boost Sri Lanka tourism got with the Barmy Army of nearly 7,000 fans currently enjoying the cricket test matches. The month of December is expected to perform better. With the third and the final test matches in Galle attracting much attention, nearly 10,000 cricket fans are expected to be in Sri Lanka.

eTN Chatroom: Discuss with readers from around the world:

“Looking at the forward bookings, we are confident that we will end up with a good winter season performance this time. With events like the Galle Literary Festival, The Pearl Fishers opera, lifestyle shows in April and other exciting events planned for next year, we should expect the recovery to be sustainable,” said, Renton de Alwis, Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.

“We also note the achievements in the Middle East market where an overall 30% gain has been achieved between January and November, with an increase from 9,535 to 12, 327,” he said. “This, we attribute to strong promotion undertaken led by our Deputy Minister of Tourism,” he added.

A notable increase is also seen in the Eastern European Markets of over 65%, with the 2006 arrival figure of 12,867 increasing to 21,301 between January and November 2007. During the month of November, markets like UK, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Austria have shown strong signs of recovery.

“With the focused thrust we are placing on our markets, we are sure to see even better times,” said, Dileep Mudadeniya, Managing Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.