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Sri Lanka Tourism News November 2012

Sri Lanka to boost MISE tourism from India

Sri Lankan Airlines and Sri Lanka Convention Bureau have jointly organized a familiarization tour for more than 60 MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Exhibition) agents from India. The group was participated by media personnel and agents from many parts of India such as Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Delhi. One week familiarization tour was organized for them to get some knowledge on the country. One week tour started on 28th October and ended in 2nd of November, they were able to get detailed information about the facilities available on the island for promoting MICE tourism.

Reputed travel agents such as TUI, Thomas Cook, Travel, Cox n Kings, Akbar Holidays were invited to the event. The participants were highly impressed by the natural attractions, cultural heritage, beautiful vegetation, pristine beaches and breathtaking views of the mountains. Visiting the Elephant orphanage and city tour in Colombo had been highlights of the event.

Promote Sri Lanka as a holiday destination at WTM, London

WTM, the leading event on world tourism, which is attended by leading players of the World tourism, was held in November 2012. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) has participated in the global event to promote Sri Lanka as a Holiday destination in the Asian region. SLTB was backed by another 53 leading players in the Sri Lankan tourism. The delegation participated in several media interviews in order to promote Sri Lanka.  Sri Lankan campaign was launched under the theme of “Wonder of Asia” and “Honeymoons destination” and “destination for cricket” had been the sub-themes.

Most outstanding UK tour operators for Sri Lanka tourism

SLTPB and Sri Lanka Association for Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) has selected the best UK tour operators, based on the number of UK tourists induced by those tour operators. According to the survey KUONI recognized as the most outstanding UK tour operator while Mercury direct and TUI UK won the second and third places consecutively.

Sri Lanka Airlines increases flights to Trivandrum

Sri Lanka Airlines increased its daily flights to Trivandrum from 22nd November 2012. Sri Lankan Airlines now flies 14 times a week to Trivandrum.  The move will increase the connectivity of Sri Lanka with the rest of the world. The increased number of flights enables more frequent opportunities for the south Indian tourists to fly to the island. Now Sri Lankan Airlines flies 28 times to southern Indian destination of Kerala and Trivandrum.

Promoting Sri Lanka at CITM

Fourteen Sri Lankan Travel agents and SLTPB participated in the China International Travel Mart (CITM 2012) held from 15th November to 18th November in Shanghai. Sri Lanka delegation was able to promote Sri Lanka as a holiday destination to the gathering of the event. A number of new products were also introduced to harness the Chinese outbound tourism market on the Consumer days on 17th and 18th of November. The event had been a Great opportunity for the Sri Lankan delegation to get very good media exposure due to the participation of a large number of media personals.

A significant increase in tourist

A significant increase of holidaymakers recorded in the month of March 2012 in the south Asian island of Sri Lanka. Tourism upbeat was mainly contributed by Western European countries, the arrivals increased by over 35%.

The single most important country for Sri Lanka tourism is India and arrival from Indian have marginally increased while arrivals from other South Asian countries declined for the corresponding period. According to the data issued by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority number of arrival in March 2012 recorded 91,102 compared to the arrivals 75,130 in March 2011.

Overall, 21% increase recorded in tourist arrivals in March compared to the same period in 2011. The number of tourist arrival in the first quarter of 2012 recorded 260,525 which is a significant increase compared to the 215,124 arrivals for the same period in 2011. The total number of holidaymakers from western countries recorded 40,686 which is 35.6% increase, making European countries most important contributor to the industry in the month of March 2012.

Most numbers of visitors came from England which is 12,032 and they have arrived during the Sri Lanka-England Test series. Holidaymakers from Indian have increased by 2.1 percent for the March 2011.

With the ending of the civil war in 2009, Sri Lanka has seen a sharp increase of holidaymakers in the island. A number of tourists increased every year for the last 3 years and it was recorded as 800,000 in 2011. The tourist authorities of Sri Lanka expect one million tourists in this year.

There are various programs were launched to developed the tourism industry and a five-year plan was launched by the Sri Lanka Tourist board with the help of Economic Development Minister. The plan will increase the number of tourists dramatically and officials expect 2.5 million tourists and 2.75 billion dollars revenue by 2016.

In parallel to the increasing number of arrival, the program aims to improve the tourism infrastructure in the island, especially the room capacity. Today the room capacity on the island estimated to be around 15,000 and government is aiming to triple the existing room capacity by 2016 to meet the demand. According to the central bank of Sri Lanka tourism has become an important contributor to the foreign exchange earnings in the island.

The tourist arrival in March 2012 shows a significant increase compared to the last year. According to the information issued by the government, the number of tourists is increasing every month.

The following table shows tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka:

2012 2011 Change (In %)

March 91,102 75,130 21.3

Jan-March 260,525 215,124 21.1

Jan-Dec 855,975 30.8

The Sri Lanka Tourist Board expect 950,000 tourists in 2012 and expected revenue from the industry is more than one billion US$ and it is more than 20% of the previous year revenue.

Posted by

Sanjeewa Padmal (Seerendipity tours)

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