More tourist arrivals in November
The total number of international tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka during November 2021 was 44,294.
A considerable improvement during the month of November can be noticed following the sharp contraction in arrivals after the month of April, 2021.
This reflects the improvement in international arrivals potentially owing to factors such as vaccination advances around the world, softer restrictions for vaccinated travellers, use of digital tools to facilitate safe travel, such as the EU COVID Certificate and growing consumer confidence in some outbound source markets. As of November 30, 2021, 104,989 international tourists had visited Sri Lanka for this year. It is a decline of 79.3% over last year when 507,311 tourists had visited the country from January to March 18, 2020, according to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority monthly Tourist Arrivals Report. The largest source markets recorded for the month of November were India, the United Kingdom, and Russia, followed by Germany and Pakistan.
Asia and Pacific became the largest source of tourist traffic India, the United Kingdom, Russia,Germany and Pakistan were Sri Lanka’s top five international tourist generating markets for the month of November this year. India was the largest source of tourist visits to Sri Lanka with 32.1% of the total traffic received in November. The United Kingdom and Russia accounted for 8.5% and 8% of the total traffic respectively.The growth in arrivals from countries in the Americas, and Western, Central & Eastern Europe, suggests a slight revitalization of leisure tourism, potentially enabled by factors such as the gradual improvement of traveller confidence, the lifting of travel restrictions, the increased roll out of COVID-19 vaccine programs, and the North American and Western Europe summer holiday period. Various accolades received highlighting Sri Lanka tourism in mainstream media, could have had some effect in boosting interest in Sri Lanka, however destination marketing is cumulative and this recent PR will need to be followed up to have any lasting impact.
However, with the surge in COVID cases in the European region it is anticipated that the current growth momentum will decline in the coming months.
The desire to visit friends and relatives (VFR) likely highly motivated travel consumers,especially from Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and Malaysia to visit Sri Lanka during this period. The presence of Pakistan and India in the top source markets is noteworthy. Easing of border restrictions, the gradual containment of the pandemic and a continued promotion of air tickets especially for Indian tourists could be the likely factors that influenced the growth in arrivals..
1.9% of the total traffic while the Americas accounted for 5.6%.
India, the United Kingdom, Germany, Kazakhstan and Ukraine were Sri Lanka’s top five international tourist-generating markets from January to November this year. All the countries, except Kazakhstan in the top ten markets from January to November, 2021, recorded declines in arrivals in comparison to the same period in 2020, likely due to the persistence of the pandemic situation and new COVID-19 outbreaks around the globe, Omicrom being the most recent. It is noteworthy that total arrivals up to November from Kazakhstan had recorded a growth in comparison to total arrivals up to November 2020, likely owing to the pilot project carried out to revive the tourism industry following a 10-month pandemic-induced closure.