Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals in the first 10 months of the
year has surpassed 2010's record as visitors to the island nation has continued
to rise every month on a year-on-year basis since a 25-year civil war ended in
Tourist arrivals in the first ten months of 2011 jumped 34.2
percent to 667,569 from a year earlier, higher than Sri Lanka's record annual
tourist arrivals of 654,476 reached last year.
The arrivals rose 32.8 percent in October from a year earlier to 69,563.
The government is targeting annual revenue of $2.75 billion
by 2016 from 2.5 million expected visitors attracted by Sri Lanka's beaches,
hills and religious and historic sites, while aiming for $3 billion in foreign
Sri Lanka has forecast 20 percent growth in visitor arrivals
this year to more than 780,000 people. Last year, the industry grew at 46
percent. The island's tourism industry drew $1.2 billion for investment in the
first half of 2011.
Tourism revenue, which jumped 64.8 percent in 2010 to a
record $575.9 million, has risen 48.1 percent in the first nine months of this
year from a year earlier to $580.1 million, central bank data shows.
After the country successfully surpassed its 750,000 tourism
arrivals goal for this year within the first 11 months, and eyed by many
international investors for development opportunities, Sri Lanka was recently
ranked among the top six tourism destination by National Geographic Traveller
The magazine reported that the country after a 30 year
bloody conflict has restored peace and the country had opened its doors to
increase tourism providing many opportunities.
Sri Lanka tourism has grown impressively, with a 52 percent
increase in 2010 compared to 2009. An even larger increase is expected for all
of 2011with Sri Lanka Tourism Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa
forecasting an 800,000 tourist arrivals for this year after
successfully achieving its set goal of 750,000 arrivals within the first 11
With these increases, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development
Authority has outlined a plan to reach a 30,000 hotel-room capacity by 2015,
when the total number of annual tourists is expected to reach 2.5 million
Special focus has also been put on increasing the level of service in
Recently top hotel chains such as Stanwood (Sheraton),
Marriot, Shangri La and Ta have announced plans for new construction in Sri
Lanka. A number of existing hotels are also undergoing renovation.
Dr. Godahewa at the launch of the Dutch Hospital Shopping
Precinct said Sri Lanka hopes to reach the one million mark of tourist arrivals
next year and the country would focus heavily on its marketing efforts.
He noted that the expected investment for capacity building
has not been realized for this year was on progress while next year the country
focuses to attract other sorts of investment for tourism development as the
country needs to provide entertainment for the arrivals.
Sri Lanka has received a number of favourable travel reviews
since 2010, beginning with New York Times’ ranking the country as the number one place to visit.
BR to illuminate hotels for festive season
On the instructions of Economic Affairs Minister Basil
Rajapaksa, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) supported by Colombo City Hotels Association are making arrangements to illuminate City
Hotels for the festive season. Industry sources told The Island that hotels in
Negombo, Hikkaduwa and the Deep South, too, would be illuminated.
Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka increased 15.7 percent to
85,874 in January 2012 from a year earlier, maintaining growth but at a slower
pace than last year, official data showed.
In January last year arrivals grew a steep 64 percent and
year with annual growth clocking at 30 percent as the end of a 30-year war
generated a tourism boom.
Western Europe continued to dominate with arrivals growing
11.9 percent to 36,497 though UK arrivals fell 14.2 percent to 8,162.
UK tourism has been hit by economic troubles and a British
tourist was also murdered in December in Sri Lanka and his girlfriend and
colleague allegedly raped by a gang led by a ruling politician in the South of
But German arrivals rose 7.0 percent to 5,933 visitors from
the Netherlands were up 22.4 percent to 3,590, from Italy up 31 percent to
2,107 and from Sweden up 25 percent to 2,876.
Arrivals from Eastern Europe rose 22 percent to 6,838 with
Russian visitors up 43 percent to 2,790. Middle Eastern visitors were up 70
percent to 3,950.
East Asian arrivals rose 28 percent to 9,334 with Chinese
tourists rising 21.5 percent to 1,952. Visitors from Japan rose 30 percent to
1,866 and Singaporean arrivals rose 41 percent to 1,453.
South Asian arrivals grew only 7.3 percent with Sri Lanka
key generating market India, growth only 6.0 percent to 14.615. Indian currency has weakened over the last few months and visa free status for Indian also ended from December.
Sri Lanka now has an electronic travel authorization
process, which however is likely to make it easier for visitors from many
countries where visas were previously issued manually to enter the country.
Sri Lankan Airlines is leading the destination’s future
growth in tourism as it moves on from its conflict-struck past. The carrier,
which has operated from London for 30 years, has started a phase of growth and
modernisation in a five year plan, which includes a US$5 million investment.
Kapila Chandrasena, director and CEO at Sri Lankan Airlines
told Travel Daily the carrier has added four aircraft this year and launched
new services to Moscow, with the re-introduction of its Zurich services on 23
December. He said the airline had taken a leadership in the tourism initiative
and is ‘trailblazing’ the way for more tourists.
“We see huge opportunity for Sri Lanka in Europe. With the
dawn of peace, the economy is buoyant, it is showing growth and we this as an
opportunity to show what the country has to offer,” he explained. “New areas
and experiences are being opened up and the government has made tourism a key
Meanwhile, the airline’s competition from Middle East
carriers has prompted Sri Lankan Airlines to update its onboard product, from
seats through to meals. This includes a new business class seat which goes to a
flatbed, modern in-flight entertainment and cabin crew training. The carrier
will also offer an a la carte menu in its business class so passengers can
choose when they eat.
“The challenge is not to get complacent,” said Chandrasena.
“We are looking at a more integrated push so as the national carrier we are
showing Sri Lanka as a destination and not just our airline. The worst is over
and the environment is now very different from how it was five years ago”.
To ease traveller concerns over domestic transportation and
currently undeveloped roads in Sri Lanka, the airline has also launched air
taxi services so tourists can reach their holiday easier.
Meanwhile, as Sri Lanka gears up to host the England cricket
team’s tour in March, Chandrasena said sports tourism will continue to be a key
tourism driver for the country. Its government is currently bidding to host the
Commonwealth Games in 2018.
شانزدهمین اجلاس سران جنبش عدم تعهد در تهران برگزار شد و هم اکنون بسیاری از رسانه ها و جراید داخلی و خارجی مشغول بررسی آثار و تبعات سیاسی، اقتصادی و فرهنگی این اجلاس که سه سال مدیریت آن برعهده ایران گذاشته شده هستند. هر روز آمارها و دستاوردهای جدیدی از این رویداد بزرگ تاریخ انقلاب اسلامی منتشر می شود و ما هم اکنون و پس از حدود سه هفته این اجلاس را بررسی می کنیم و با بررسی دستاوردهای گردشگری این اجلاس پرونده آن را دوباره بازخوانی خواهیم کرد هرچند هنوز تعدادی از مهمانان این اجلاس در کشورمان مانده اند و مشغول بازدید از توانمندی های گردشگری ایران هستند اما شاید بتوان گفت که بسیاری از زوایا و دستاوردهای این اجلاس مشخص شده است و تقریبا همگی چشم به آینده و دستاوردهای بلند مدت آن دوخته ایم.