Will the holiday seekers skip Bali, Maldives, Thailand, or Nepal and pick the Paradise island Sri Lanka as their next holiday destination and if they do so the ambitious plan of the tourist development authority to attract 800,000 tourists for the rest of the year may succeed.
The primary focus would be on drawing in Indian tourists for the next six months.
“The Prime Minister has directed aviation authorities to begin operations of the Palaly Airport to facilitate Indian tourist visits to the North and East.
Sri Lanka witnessed the arrivals of 378,521 foreign visitors in the first five months of this year. which was an increase compared to the previous year when the countrey was plagued with the Corona pandemic.
The country earns about five percent of its GDP in good times.
Tourism accounted for 5 percent of the GDP in 2018 with 4 billion US dollar earnings, but fell in 2019 due to the impact of the Easter Sunday attack and later due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It has brought 680.7 million US dollars in the first five months of this year.
The Prime Minister seems to have very ambitious plans for the tourism sector. as he is targeting around 2.5 million tourists by 2025 with expected revenue of $ 3.5 billion .However little is known what the government is expecting to provide the required service standards a tourist would expect.
Minister of Tourism Harin Fernando has plans to discuss with the diplomatic community to compel the relevant countries to lift the existing tourism restrictions on Sri Lanka,however it is very unlikely that travel advisories would be made in favor of Srilanka without considerable changes in the country’s situation.