Tourism picks up in Sri Lanka in September, helped by visitors from India, Pakistan

Sri Lanka has welcomed 13,547 tourists in September 2021, up from 5,040 in August, helped by 8,528 visitors from India and 1,225 visitors from Pakistan, after fully vaccinated travelers were allowed in, data from the state tourism promotion office showed

Oct 09, 2021
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Tourism picks up in Sri Lanka in September

Sri Lanka has welcomed 13,547 tourists in September 2021, up from 5,040 in August, helped by 8,528 visitors from India and 1,225 visitors from Pakistan, after fully vaccinated travelers were allowed in, data from the state tourism promotion office showed. Up to September Sri Lanka has welcomed 37,924 tourists down 92.5 percent from 507,311 in 2020. Borders were closed in March 2020.

“Easing of border restrictions, the gradual containment of the pandemic and promotions on air tickets especially for Indian tourists could be the likely factors that influenced the growth in arrivals contraction in arrivals after April,” Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) said in its monthly report.

“This could reflect the improvement in international tourism owing to factors such as an increase in vaccination programs around the world, softer restrictions for vaccinated travelers, and growing consumer confidence.”

In late August, Sri Lanka restarted its tourism campaign in India opening its borders for fully vaccinated travelers from the country.

Sri Lankan Airlines started four weekly flights to Chennai, three to Mumbai, and one to Bengaluru while restarting operations with one flight a week between Colombo and Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Thiruvanathapuram and Cochin

A connecting flight was also scheduled to operate between Colombo and the Indian cities of Hyderabad and New Delhi with two flights in a week.

The airlines also launched a buy one get one free ticket campaign in India.

Further, SLTDA has found in an analysis that Sri Lankan Airlines, Qatar Airlines and India’s IndiGo were the top airlines, handling 90 percent of tourists to Sri Lanka.

After India and Pakistan, Germany was the largest source at 466 tourists, UK 309, Canada 265, Indonesia 245, Bangladesh 235, Spain 182 and France 181.

As of now, the country removed the on-arrival PCR test for fully vaccinated passengers from September 28.

Sri Lanka’s peak winter travel season is from October to March.

The country’s tourism sector is planning to earn around 500 million dollars in the year to March 2022, with at least 50,000 arrivals a month.

(SAM)