Niche tourism way forward for Sri Lanka, says Tourism Development Authority

The way forward for Sri Lanka’s tourism sector is to improve focus on niche tourism instead of focusing on the number of visitors entering the island nation, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) said.

“In the context of Sri Lanka’s tourism sector, the concept of niche tourism holds significant importance. By developing and promoting niche tourism products, Sri Lanka can tap into specific markets and attract visitors seeking unique and authentic experiences,” SLTDA said in its latest Monthly Tourist Arrivals report. According to the Authority, the approach would allow the country to differentiate itself from mass tourism destinations and cater to the growing demand for more personalized and immersive travel experiences. 

Niche tourism in Sri Lanka can take various forms, including but not limited to eco-tourism, cultural tourism, adventure tourism, wildlife tourism, wellness tourism, and gastronomic tourism.  SLTDA pointed out that each niche presents an opportunity to highlight Sri Lanka’s distinct features, such as its stunning landscapes, ancient heritage sites, vibrant local communities, biodiversity, traditional arts, and culinary delights. 

“By focusing on these niche segments, Sri Lanka can attract discerning travellers who are willing to pay more for authentic and sustainable experiences,” it said. Furthermore, developing niche tourism products in Sri Lanka also contributes to the overall sustainability of the tourism sector as niche tourism tends to have a smaller environmental footprint compared to mass tourism given that it emphasises responsible practices, community involvement, and conservation efforts. 

The Authority expressed confidence in the island nation’s ability in protecting its natural and cultural resources for future generations while reaping the economic benefits if it actively promotes sustainable tourism practices within niche segments.