February tourism earnings record US$ 346 mn

Sri Lanka’s tourism sector continues to move towards the positive trajectory as it fetches higher earnings from international travellers visiting the island nation.
Sri Lanka recorded US$ 345.7 million from tourism trade in February out of 218,350 visitors, churning out the much needed foreign incomes for the dollar hungry nation to keep its economy afloat.

This is higher than the US$ 161.6 million recorded in the same month a year ago. The increase marks a significant rebound for the sector, which had been gradually recovering from a series of crises. These included the Easter attacks in 2019, followed by two years of pandemic-related challenges, and an economic crisis that escalated into a full-blown social and political crisis in 2022. These events collectively delayed the industry’s post-pandemic recovery by at least a year.

The February figure was also slightly higher from the US$ 341.8 million in January when the industry could generate the highest income from before the pandemic in 2020.
In the first two months, tourism has generated a cumulative US$ 687.5 million, a 118.2 percent growth from the same period in 2023.
The tourism industry was fast recovering from the Easter Sunday attacks in 2019 when global travel came to a standstill from March 2020 onwards.

Sri Lanka became a direct casualty because the industry was bringing in over US$ 4.0 billion in foreign currency income annually, helping to stave off the pressures coming from elsewhere in the external sector.
Hospitality, travel, entertainment, food and beverages industries and millions of others who were into micro to small scale production targeted at foreigners, and street vendors selling to them went bust and never recovered. And the subsequent hyperinflation in 2022 pushed them into poverty.    
As now the industry is almost normalised, that would add a lifeline to those who couldn’t make ends meet for over three years.

Source: https://www.dailymirror.lk/print/business/February-tourism-earnings-record-US-346-mn/215-278578