Tourism to be top forex earner in 2016
Tourism, with revenue generated from visa on arrival fees will be Sri
Lanka's number one foreign exchange earner by 2016 where the country is
targeting 2.5 million tourist arrivals. Sri Lankan tourist industry
would achieve a golden double of more than one million arrivals and US$
one billion revenue by year's end,which is the target set for 2013.
Three German Tour Operators were awarded for their loyalty.
Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene, SriLankan Chairman
Nishantha Wickremasinghe and Ambassador Sarath Kongahage with
the award winners. Picture by Shirajiv Sirimane
Tourist Hotels Association and Serene Pavilion Chairman, Anura
Lokuhetty said that with peace, tourism is achieving its targets ahead
of time. The target set for 2016 is 2.5 million arrivals and US$ three
billion in revenue.
However with this positive trend set to continue, the country would
collect over US $ six billion (with visa fee charges) which would make
the industry the number one foreign exchange earner from its current
fifth position, he said.
He said that though there was fear in the industry that the visa on
arrival policy would have a negative impact on the industry this has not
been the case.
However he cautioned that Sri Lanka is not the only girl in the beach
and other countries too are trying hard to promote themselves more
vigorously than Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is currently a hot destination. However this advantage
would not be there for ever. I think international marketing is now a
grey area for Sri Lanka as the private sector cannot do this, he said.
Sri Lanka tourism should take a lead in this regard and invite
foreign travel writers to come to Sri Lanka as newspaper publicity would
help to promote Sri Lanka in a big way.
He also cautioned the industry that though the country is getting
high spenders they should not ‘over price’ since this too would drive
The International Tourism Exchange, which is also known as the ITB,
is considered the largest global event of the Travel Industry concluded
yesterday. Since 1968, Sri Lanka played a considerable role as a member
of this event.
In 2012 too, Sri Lanka Tourism plans to take part in this event with
positive expectations, marking the consecutive 44th year successfully.
German tourists to Sri Lanka alone exceeded 55,880 last year,
indicating a very good potential for Sri Lanka in the German tourist
market and this is expected to reach a five figure mark this year.
The awards were designed with Sri Lankan gems with the intention of
promoting exclusive Sri Lankan gems in Germany.
This event was held with the participation of Deputy Minister
Economic Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene, Ambassador Sarath
Kongahage, Chairman, Sri Lankan Airlines, Nishantha Wickramasinge and
other industry stakeholders.