Published on : Tuesday, March 3, 2020
A silver lining may be slowly be coming up for the tourism industry of Sri Lanka as European holidaymakers are looking for alternative destinations to keep away from coronavirus-hit East and South-East Asian regions as the sector encounters a huge drop in tourist arrivals from key Asia-Pacific markets such as China.
“The demand is growing from Europe. It will definitely come to Sri Lanka. Most of the airlines that offer connectivity to Colombo from European destinations are operating at near full capacity now,” a leading airline representative told Mirror Business.
He observed that if Sri Lanka gets victorious in making the most on this trend, it could significantly taper the affect from decline in tourist arrivals from coronavirus-hit regions to the country. As per Airport & Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited, the airlines which connect to Europe are functioning at over 90 percent capacity now, up from 80 percent recorded in January.
Last year, Europe saw 44 percent of tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka propelled by a growth in tourist arrivals from Eastern European source markets like Russia.
Besides, tourist arrivals from India, the largest tourism source market of the country, which is seen as a low hanging fruit, is developing as many Indians like intra-south Asia travel amid coronavirus fears.