- November tourist arrivals total 151,496
- However, November tourist arrival target missed by 25%
- Previous instance SL crossed 150,000 mark was in November 2019
- Top source markets for November are India, Russian Federation and Germany
November has recorded the highest tourist arrivals for the year so far, bringing in a total of 151,496 international visitors. However, despite much confidence of the tourism authorities, the monthly target was missed by 25 percent.
For the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic (March 2020), the island nation crossed the 150,000 tourist arrival mark. While the authorities projected an influx of 204,114, only 75 percent of the target was realised. The tourist arrival target set for November 2023 was 204,114.
The daily arrival average too reached a new milestone, crossing the 5,000 mark.
The previous instance Sri Lanka crossed the 150,000 tourist arrival milestone was in November 2019, with 153,123 international visitors. This was followed by 195,582 in November 2018 and 253,169 in December 2019.
In 2018, which is regarded as the best year for Sri Lanka tourism in history, the month of November drew 195,582 tourists, the seventh highest for that year.
With the November 2023 arrival numbers, Sri Lanka’s cumulative tourist arrivals for the first 11 months of the year stand at 1.27 million.
India continued to rank as the largest tourist traffic generator for Sri Lanka, accounting for 20 percent of the total arrivals for the month. The Russian Federation ranked as the second largest, bringing in 16 percent of the total number of tourists, whereas in the third place was Germany, which accounted for 8 percent of the total arrivals for the month.
The other key markets included the United Kingdom, Australia, China, the United States and France.
Sri Lanka will see tourist arrivals from India, China and Russia expand further in the coming months, as the government launched last week a free visa regime, which will be rolled out till March 31, 2024. The three key markets are included in the list of seven countries for which the free visa scheme is applicable. The other four countries are Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan, which are not among the top 10 source markets for Sri Lanka tourism.
Japan ranks as the 16th largest tourist traffic generator for Sri Lanka, whereas Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia are not on the top 20 list.