Tourism to generate $ 1.5 bn revenue for 2020 | Daily News

Tourism to generate $ 1.5 bn revenue for 2020

Total industry recovery in mid 2021:
 PCR tests carried out at the Katunayake International Airport
PCR tests carried out at the Katunayake International Airport

Sri Lankan Tourism industry, badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, will generate USD 1.5 billion revenue for 2020 which is almost 50% revenue loss from 2019. Sri Lanka earned USD 4.4 billion from tourism in 2018, with revenue up 12% on the USD 3.9 billion of 2017.

Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals in 2019 fell 18% from a year earlier to 1.9 million following the Easter Sunday bombings.

President of Hotels Association of Sri Lanka, Sanath Ukwatte however said that the Sri Lankan Tourism sector is expected to fully recover by mid 2021 and would account to around 2.5 million arrivals. “Globally People are getting used to living with coronavirus. Arrivals will pick up and it would not be difficult for a small country like Sri Lanka to attract 2.5 million arrives next year. Over 39 million people travelled out of China in 2018 and Sri Lanka can attract a huge slice from this and also from Europe.”

He said already booking inquiries are made from China, India and Europe and this is a very positive signal of recovery.

Ukwatte said that one of the biggest plus marketing points for Sri Lanka to woo global travellers were the successful manner in which the Covid-19 pandemic was controlled in Sri Lanka and the travel sector is thankful for the government for this. “The industry must now try to get travellers to stay longer (over a month) , especially in resort hotels. With the opening of the airport in August, tourists will start to come back. They are subjected to a pre three day visit PCR test in their country, a second one at the airport and third and fourth PCR test after five and 10 days period in Sri Lanka. In addition the hotels too will regularly check temperature and monitor the guest’s health situation according to guidelines laid by health authorities.”

He also tanked the government for recognising tourism as an export industry and granting several tax wavers. Ukwatte said that around 10% of jobs in the industry were lost and permanent staff too had to undergo pay cuts.

President City Hotels Association, M. Shanthi Kumar said that all restaurants and bars registered with Sri Lanka Tourism are fully operational. The Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) too will play a major role in crew changers and even accepting charter and scheduled flights.

An official from Movenpick said that their hotel is fully functional and are offering special room rates.

Chairman Jetwing, Hiran Cooray said their hotels too are now accepting local guests while maintaining health regulations.

He said that they hope foreigners too will start coming in from August and will offer them special attraction rates.

John Keels Hotels too are accepting bookings while Aitken Spence will start operations soon. Hotels in both these groups remain shut in Maldives due to government regulations.

Add new comment