Tourists seen enjoying the view of a wild elephant at the Yala National Park
PIC BY NISAL BADUGE
- Tourist arrivals total 74,664 in first 15 days
- Daily arrival average increases to 4,977
- 36% of November arrival target realised
- Year-to-date arrivals total 1.2mn
Sri Lanka tourism is witnessing an impressive performance in the fourth quarter of 2023 (4Q23), with tourist arrivals to the island nation increasing sharply in the first half of the month of November.
For the first 15 days of November, tourist arrivals totalled 74,664, the highest recorded within the first two weeks for the whole of 2023, the provisional data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed. The previous highest arrival recorded within the first 15 days was in March 2023, with the influx of 60,882 international visitors.
Accordingly, 36 percent of the tourist arrival target set by the SLTDA for the month of November has been realised. The SLTDA has forecasted tourist arrivals for the month of November to reach 204,114.
To meet the target, Sri Lank has to lure at least 129,450 international visitors in the remaining 15 days of the month, which is about 8,630 tourists per day on average.
Meanwhile, the daily arrival average has increased to 4,977, which again is the highest recorded for the said period this year, up from the 3,500 average in October.
With the increasing rate of arrivals seen in November so far, the cumulative tourist arrival for January 01 to November 15 has reached 1,200,119, generating an income of US $ 1.59 billion.
Sri Lanka hopes to lure at least 1.55 million internationally for the year 2023, generating an income of US $ 2.5 billion. The Tourism Ministry and SLTDA have repeatedly expressed confidence in the tourism sector exceeding the arrival target. However, the industry stakeholders have shared that it is likely the target would be missed by a small margin.
For the month of November so far, India ranks as the largest tourist traffic generator for Sri Lanka, accounting for 18 percent of the total arrivals. Ranking second is the Russian Federation, contributing to 17 percent of the arrivals. And in third place is Germany, bringing in 10 percent of the arrivals.
The other key markets include the United Kingdom, Australia, China and the United States.