Tourism earnings low despite high arrivals in 2023


Well-known member
  • Dec 23, 2023
    ටුවරිස් ල ගොඩක් ආවට ආදායම් අඩුයි ලු

    Sri Lanka has earnt low tourism revenue despite having 1.5 million arrivals in 2023 due to the arrival of lower- to medium-end travellers from the top two tourist markets to Sri Lanka such as Russia and India, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Chairman Chalaka Gajabahu said.

    In an interview with TV Derana last Thursday (11), he said that lower to medium tourists arrived in Sri Lanka from markets such as Russia and India in 2023 which took the top two tourist arrival countries in the year that resulted in lower revenue compared to years such as 2018 and 2019.

    Sri Lanka had a total tourist arrival of 1.48 million in 2023 generating $ 2 billion while in years such as 2019, it generated $ 3.5 billion with over 1.9 million arrivals.

    India took the top spot with the highest tourist arrivals in 2023, with 302,844 while Russia took the second place with 197,498. In 2019, the second and third places were taken up by markets such as the United Kingdom (UK) and China.

    “We never got such a huge number (of tourists) from Russia before, because Russia also has a market from lower end to high end and the number of destinations that Russians can go is limited to 20 countries such as Thailand, Sri Lanka and Indonesia,” he elaborated.

    However, he said that from 2024 onwards authorities and destination management companies should think about marketing to get the target market from Russia.

    He added that Sri Lanka should target the tourist market that has the highest spending power in Russia and India.

    “To strategically increase the spending (power) of tourists in Sri Lanka, we should promote Sri Lanka as a brand which was not done before to tell the world what Sri Lanka is,” Gajabahu said.

    Further, he said that Sri Lanka Tourism has selected Phoenix Ogilvy through a tender process to run the next global campaign of Sri Lanka.

    Ogilvy was the company that ran the Incredible India campaign for Indian Tourism.