Sri Lanka is a tourist destination mostly visited by young travellers, according to a survey compiled by the Research and International Relations Division of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA).
The survey revealed that 41.9 percent of the tourists who visited Sri Lanka in 2017 belonged to the age group of 20-29.
The survey was conducted among the departing foreign tourists from the Bandaranaike International Airport.
The majority of tourists (85 percent) had come to Sri Lanka for the first time and the largest proportion of first timers were from Canada (94.6 percent), Austria (93.2 percent), Poland (92.9 percent), and Czech Republic (91.6 percent).
Indicating the rise in modern independent traveller notion, around 40 percent of the tourists who visited Sri Lanka had made their own travel arrangements while 37 percent made their payments online. Over 78 percent of tourists had used credit cards for online transactions.
Around 18 percent of the tourists had made payments through an operator/ travel agent in their country of residence.
Further, 81.5 percent of the sampled tourists had used non-package tours, while 18.5 percent had used package tours.
Given the demographic of the majority of travellers who have visited Sri Lanka in 2017, the main source of information which influenced them to visit was the Internet (29.55 percent), the survey revealed.
This stresses the need for a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to promote the country. Tourism authorities recently awarded the tender for a US $ 3.5 million digital marketing campaign to five advertising agencies.
Recommendations made by friends and relatives were the second key influencer (27.49 percent).
Meanwhile, the average duration of stay of the tourists sampled was 11.11 nights. Tourists from Germany had stayed for more than 21 nights, followed by tourists from United Kingdom and Benelux.
According to the survey, the first preferred reason for selecting Sri Lanka as a place to holiday was for sun and beach (29.01 percent), while the second preferred reason was sightseeing (22.83 percent).
Over 56 percent of the tourists visited Sri Lanka in 2017 had used hotels for accommodation, whereas 27 percent had stayed in guesthouses and with other informal sector accommodation providers.
The survey sample included 24 countries and regions, namely: India, China, United Kingdom, Germany, Middle East, France, Australia, Benelux, Russia, Scandinavia, Ukraine, United States, Czech Republic, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Poland, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Austria, Canada, and South Korea.