Published on : Saturday, January 6, 2018
The arrival figure for 2017 represents a 3.2 growth or 65,595 more arrivals over the preceding year when the figure crossed the 2 million mark for the first time.
Despite the number of setbacks in the infrastructure of the tourism industry, the tourism arrival figure saw a constant graph. The first setback was the partial closure of the country’s main airport from January to April where many airlines either scaled down operations or completely halted flights to Colombo. The unprecedented dengue epidemic in and around Colombo which lasted for some several months also added to the negative impact of the industry. Further flooding and a severe drought in the central and northern parts of the country in the latter part of the year added to the climatic woes suffered by the tourism industry during the year which according to industry sources impacted forward bookings.
But overcoming all these, SLTDA data showed that arrivals in December grew from 224,791 in 2016 to 244,536 in 2017 reflecting an 8.8 growth rate.
The top source market continues to be India and closely followed by China and UK .