Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tourism industry beats 2009 arrivals

Sri Lanka tourism has surpassed the 2009 arrival figurers by the first week of October surpassing the 450,000 mark.

Acting Managing Director Sri Lanka Tourism Malraj Kiriella told the Daily FT yesterday that according to weekly statistics received by the SLT by 7 October, the annual arrival of tourists to the country had reached 450,000.

By Cheranka Mendis

By September this year the arrivals figure for the year came to 225, 228; only 2, 662 less than the annual tourism arrivals for 2009. The percentage increase from September last year to this year was 44 per cent.
Kiriella stated that this puts the expected tourist arrivals for the year on a more positive light and that the target could not only be achieved but surpassed as well.

“The anticipated arrivals for 2010 was 575, 000. However with the growth trend seen during the past few weeks it looks the figure is more than achievable, and if the trend continues we might even achieve a high 600, 000,” Kiriella said.

If the 600, 000 or even 575,000 arrivals are reached by the end of the year, that would mean that in the post war economy Sri Lanka has surpassed the highest growth in tourism arrivals in 2004 of 566, 200 tourists.
To bring in the expected crowds Sri Lanka Tourism has plans to participate in the World Travel Mart (WTM), the premier global event for the travel industry in London. A four day business-to-business event presenting a diverse range of destinations and industry sectors to UK and International travel professionals, WTM presents an opportunity for the whole global travel trade to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business under one roof.

In addition Sri Lanka Tourism will also offer promotional packages for cricketing events which includes air and ground transfers and special seating. A new web page is set to come in before the end of the year. “A mini shopping festival will be held in December coinciding with the holiday season,” Kiriella said.

Kiriella added that a visitor survey will be conducted in November at the Bandaranaike International Airport in November. The survey, which is said to be a continuous one, will be held on a stratified random sampling method on departing tourists.

Japan further relaxes travel advisory

The Japanese government has further relaxed its travel advisory on its nationals visiting the Northern Province of Sri Lanka yesterday. The security cautionary level in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya and Mannar cities were reduced on par with the city of Colombo, an embassy statement said.

Accordingly the revised travel advisory has been categorised on the level of “Travel Caution” (Level 1), which advises Japanese nationals to stay alert to the security situation and take the necessary precautions.

Travel to the areas in the Northern Province other than those mentioned above would prevail at the level of “Recommendation to consider whether or not to travel” (Level 2), due to the mine clearing activities which are in progress.

source -

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