With new Government in place and the international arrivals slowly picking after the slump caused by the Easter attacks in April, Sri Lanka is now looking to revive its tourism inflow from key markets like India.
The paradise island, blessed with world class products and places, has lauched a number of initiatives to increase its revenue from tourism and is betting big on India which shares a cultural and ethnic bond.
Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) in collaboration with Sri Lanka Consulate General in Mumbai recently launched “Meet in Sri Lanka” promotional campaign in India.
The campaign looked to position Sri Lanka as a preferred MICE destination in India, throwing up vast options and opportunities to Indian travel trade, PCOs and MICE organisers.
India remains a key market for Sri Lanka. The year 2018 saw 63,733 MICE arrivals in Sri Lanka as compared to 57,694 in 2017 and 53,510 in 2016. It is witnessed that there is an increasing trend of India MICE arrivals during the past years.
The Island nation is promoting itself as ‘a destination for all seasons’. The year 2018 saw a rapid increase with approximately 424,887 Indian tourists visiting Sri Lanka, as compared to 384,628 arrivals in 2017 and 356,729 in 2016. The cultural and regional similarities Sri Lanka a favourite destination for Indians.
The strong direct airlines connectivity of 121 flights per week from 11 stations in India to Sri Lanka is another reason for the spurt in arrivals. Vistara, a full service carrier owned between India’s Tata group and Singapore Airlines has recently started flights to Sri Lanka.
Following the Easter Sunday attacks arrivals fell to 11,246 in May 2019 from 42,000 a year earlier. By October arrivals had recovered to 33,000, down from 38,000 a year earlier. But the country is pinning hopes on the key markets.