With over 1.9 lakh international arrivals in December 2021, Sri Lanka sees a major boom in the tourism sector.
Sri Lanka witnesses a tourism boom
With majority of the holidaymakers travelling from India, Sri Lanka has logged in a huge spike in tourism recently. According to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), the island nation welcomed 1,94,495 foreign tourists in December 2021, despite of shutting its borders due to the pandemic for several months.
The authority further reported that one-fourth of the total count came from India that topped the list with 56,268 tourists, followed by the UK (16,646), Russia (16,268), Germany (12,442), Ukraine (7,037), France (6,549), the US (6,124), Kazakhstan (5,754), Canada (5,079), and China (2,417).
After surviving two drastic COVID-19 waves, Sri Lanka’s tourism business was further ravaged by the third wave of the pandemic in April 2021. Later in the year, the country gradually started opening its doors to international tourists, and introduced a number of campaigns and promotions to invite them. The country opened its borders for fully-vaccinated travellers in August last year, and dismissed the mandatory on-arrival RT-PCR tests the following month. The official flag carrier SriLankan Airlines launched a ‘Buy One, Get One Free Ticket’ campaign for Indian travellers, along with starting a number of weekly flights to Chennai and Mumbai and commencing operations to Bengaluru, Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Trivandrum, and Cochin.
Last year, Sri Lanka witnessed a tourism boom after a long period of constant upheavals and struggles. In 2019, Sri Lanka recorded over 1.9 million tourist arrivals, earning around $3.5 billion. As the pandemic hit the world, the tourism sector of one of the top holiday destinations in the world further suffered in 2020, with the figure plunging to 5,70,000.