Fabulous February for tourism

Fabulous February for tourism- BPN TODAY
  • Records highest post-COVID arrivals figure of 93,582; tourists up 14% from January
  • Sets new benchmark, beating previous high of 89,506 in December
  • With impressive performance in February, 2022 has so far drawn 176,000 tourists
  • Russia continues to dominate as top source market with 28,392 tourists
  • India, UK, Ukraine, Germany joins top markets
  • February records a daily average of over 3,400 tourists
  • Weekly arrivals declined gradually towards last week, which could be due to Russian invasion of Ukraine
  • 14,914 Russian travellers and 5,267 Ukraine tourists were received in February

Tourist arrivals have hit a post-COVID all-time high of 93,582 in February, propelling the cumulative figure to 175,909 giving a good start for the year.

As per provisional data released by the Tourism Ministry yesterday, it reflects a sharp growth of 14% from January, largely influenced by the eased travel restrictions, aggressive tourism promotions, continued service from more airlines, successful vaccination program and growing traveller confidence.

February arrivals also set a new benchmark, beating the previous high of 89,506 recorded in December 2021 since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. In February, an average of 3,466 tourists arrived in the country on a daily basis.

Despite a surge in its COVID cases and declaring war, Russia continues to dominate as the top tourist source market for Sri Lanka with 28,392 tourists so far, followed by India with 24,141, UK 17,749, Ukraine 13,039 and Germany 12,779.

In addition, tourists were also received from countries such as France, Poland, Australia, Kazakhstan and Maldives in February.

The first week of February saw 22,411 tourists and the trend picked up in the second and third weeks to 24,871 and 25,766 respectively. However, the fourth week showed a sharp drop with 20,534 just yesterday’s data pending, which could be attributed to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In February, a total of 14,914 Russian travellers and 5,267 Ukrainian tourists were received.

Sri Lanka revised down the tourist arrivals forecast for 2022 to 1.1 million from an earlier ambitious goal of luring 2.3 million, a move influenced by the surge in ‘Omicron’ variant in major source markets.

However, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga last week renewed his hopes of attracting 150,000 visitors monthly in the next six months.

Sri Lanka finished 2021 with 194,495 tourists, with December attracting 89,506 the highest for a month since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.

Source Daily FT

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