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Tourism turns SL’s second highest forex earner

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For the first time tourism has been elevated as the second highest foreign exchange earner to Sri Lanka after Foreign remittances said Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chalaka Gajabahu.

The number two slot which was apparel exports have dipped by around 20% and this has helped Sri Lanka to be made the second highest foreign exchange generation industry to Sri Lanka. He said they have also upgraded their arrival target from 1.5 million to 1.7 million as they expect over 200,000 to 250,000 in the months of November and December. The free visa on arrival will also help to boost the country’s arrival target by 10%.

“By now, we have also passed 1.1 million tourist arrivals which is a good sign, and there are indications of more tourist arrivals in the long run. This is seen as a very successful time period for both Sri Lanka Tourism and the tourism industry in general. The industry is expected to muster around USD 1.7 billion revenue this year. He predicted that by 2030 they expect to generate USD 5 billion revenue from tourism with USD 2.5 billion coming in from high end tourists who will spend around USD 500 plus per day. Currently this figure is around USD 185.

He stressed that tourism is all about bringing people to Sri Lanka and not importing products and services. “Hence we need to create a clear mind set for them to travel and during the economic crisis and Aragalaya we found it very difficult to convince them. Adverse travel warnings further aggravated this. To overcome this we then focused on India and today they are the number one source destination for Sri Lanka.”

Sri Lanka Tourism has a Rs. 16.billion marketing budget that has been approved and we are carefully inventing it for focused promotion taking country by country and studying their seasonal patterns. We have also initiated some new projects for the season, whereas the much awaited global campaign will be carried out in 9 countries. Sri Lanka Tourism certainly has several key projects coming up for the upcoming year, and I ‘m positive all these initiatives will enable Sri Lanka to be a global icon among all travel destinations’’.

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