- Improvement seen in weekly arrivals
- Average daily arrivals for October so far is 1,268
- India, Russia and UK rank as top three markets for October so far
The tourist arrivals for the first half of October have crossed the 20,000 mark, showing an improvement in the rate of international visitors entering the country.
According to the provisional data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority for October 01 to 16, Sri Lanka welcomed a total of 20,573 tourists.
The weekly arrivals show that for the first week of October (1-7), Sri Lanka welcomed 8,614 visitors. The second week (08-14) saw an increase from the previous, with 9,125 tourists entering the country.
For the first two days of the third week (15-16), the tourist arrivals amounted to 2,834. India continues to maintain its position as the largest source market for Sri Lanka tourism for October, accounting for 20 percent of the total arrivals.
The Tourism Ministry and industry players are aggressively promoting Sri Lanka to the neighbouring giant, capitalising on the proximity and cultural similarities. The Russian Federation moved up the list to the second place, generating 14 percent of the total tourist traffic. An improvement in the arrivals from Russia is seen due to Aeroflot resuming services to Colombo after it suspended flights to the island nation following a legal dispute. The tourism sector stakeholders expect more travellers from Russia, as an increase in the bookings is observed for the upcoming winter season.
Coming in as the third largest tourist traffic generator for Sri Lanka is the UK, contributing to 10 percent of the total arrivals. Sri Lanka has an official target of closing the year 2022 with one million tourists. However, the Tourism Ministry said it is very likely for the year to end with about 800,000 visitors.