Tourist Arrivals Are Up in Sri Lanka

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Tourist Arrivals Are Up in Sri Lanka

The official data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) disclosed that tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka reached 2.33 million visitors in 2018, showing a healthy 10.3% growth compared to the 2017's results of 2.1 million. 

March, February, June and November were the months with the highest growth rate while December, quite predictably, broke the record in absolute numbers with tourist arrivals reaching 253,169 visitors before the end of the year. While the political instability in the beginning of the last year had quite a negative impact on tourism industry in the country, by the end of the year the situation improved and the total tourism revenue in 2018 reached USD3.5 billion.

SLTDA believes that 2019 will be a much more successful year for the hospitality sector in the country. In the last months of 2019, the annual 'Destination to travel' list by Lonely Planet featured Sri Lanka as the destination N1 to visit in 2019. Also, Sri Lanka is currently putting a lot of effort to develop cruise tourism and 2018 already saw a higher number of cruise ships calling to the port of Colombo. All summed up, SLTDA is very optimistic about this year's prospects and the target for tourist arrivals is set up high at 4 million visitors who will hopefully generate over USD5 billion in tourism revenue.

Regardless the fact that Sri Lanka boasts a wealth of attractions – from ancient temples of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa to cool highlands covered with tea plantations of Kandy and Ella, from beautiful beaches of Mirissa to colonial architecture of Jaffna port, it still remains relatively unexlored by foreign visitors.

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