Sri Lanka continues to maintain the momentum in tourist arrivals witnessed over the last few weeks, as it welcomed over 20,000 international visitors in the first seven days of the new year.
The provisional data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority showed that for the January 01-07 period, a total of 20,875 tourists entered the country.
When compared with the corresponding period of the previous year, the arrivals were up by a marginal 1.6 percent.
In January 2022, as the Covid-19 infections and casualties across the world started to ease, global tourism saw increase in activities and Sri Lanka too reaped the benefits that stemmed from the resumption of travel and tourism activities.
For the January 01-07, 2022 period, the island nation welcomed a total of 20,544 international visitors, out of which the highest tourist traffic contribution was from the Russian Federation.
Similarly, the largest contributor to Sri Lanka’s tourism traffic for the first week of January 2023 is the Russian Federation, which accounted for 28 percent of the total arrivals. Ranking second was India, accounting for 11 percent of the total tourists and in the third position was the UK, contributing to 7 percent of the total tourist arrivals.
For the first week of January 2023, the average daily arrival was 2,982, whereas for the same period in 2022, it was 2,934. However, when compared with the arrivals of the previous week, the final week of 2022 (December 25-31), the average daily arrivals dropped by 22 percent.
In the coming weeks, Sri Lanka can expect China to enter the list of tourism source markets, as the country relaxed its travel protocols for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
While some nations have imposed travel protocols exclusively for travellers arriving from China, Sri Lanka has not yet announced its stance in this regard. Therefore, as of now, there are no restrictions or protocols that tourists arriving from China will have to adhere to.
The incoming of Chinese tourists will augur well for Sri Lanka’s slowly reviving tourism sector and the forex-hungry economy.