With safety restored, tourist numbers increasing - Gomes | Daily News

With safety restored, tourist numbers increasing - Gomes

Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka dropped by 70 percent in May this year, following Easter Sunday attacks; however with the security being restored the arrivals are picking up, Kishu Gomes, Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau said yesterday.

He said, “Obviously with safety being restored we see the numbers going up. After April we were anyway going in for the lean season. Last year figure for April was 180,000 tourists and it dropped to 129,000 tourists this year and in May there were 37,000 arrivals.” Gomes was speaking at the press conference to announce the plans of the Colombo International Logistics Conference at the Galadari Hotel.

Gomes added that seven travel advisories had softened. He said Germany, India, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Italy and China had all softened their travel advisories on Sri Lanka. Gomes said, “There were initially about 13 travel advisories. These advisories were of different natures. They did not say do not travel. However these advisories discouraged people from visiting Sri Lanka.”

“From countries that we have travel advisories we have a large number of tourists coming in. From the UK we have had 3,200 tourists coming in. We have 1,300 tourists from the USA. These are things we need to note.”

Gomes added, “We received the Cabinet nod last Tuesday to appoint a PR agency and a global advertising agency. For the PR effort that will be happening all over our target markets the investment is going to be Rs 420 million.” The budget for marketing will be Rs. 500 million.

“We will be having 37 exhibitions across the world covering target markets from now to the end of the year. Eighteen road shows has been planned as we speak there is a road show happening in Poland. There will be nine consumer engagements. All put together, all 55 mega events that we are taking part in.”

Any work that does not get covered over the next three months will be added onto a new schedule. “There will be another scheduled developed starting from India, France, and Russia. Thereafter markets like Australia. The Minister was in Thailand promoting religious tourism recently.”

Gomes said that the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) event, a surfing event, a baseball event, a logistics conference and a national media campaign to boost local tourism would take place. Such events would bring a high quality of tourist to the country.


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