Sri Lanka draws over 150,000 tourists so far in 2023

First 2 weeks of February arrivals cross 50,000 on top of 100,000 in JanuaryDaily average arrivals pick up to near 4,000Russia maintains run over India YTD, as top source market with a lead of over 18,000 tourists

Year-to-date tourist arrivals crossed the 150,000 mark with 54,685 visitors during the first 14 days of February.

As per provisional data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) yesterday, a total of 157,230 visitors arrived in the country so far. 

Sri Lanka welcomed 26,506 in the first week and 28,179 in the second week of February, the provisional data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority showed.

It also showed that the daily average arrivals have picked up to 3,906 in February so far ─ a significant improvement compared to last year. 

During the first two weeks of February Russia topped the tourist inflow reflecting 26% or 14,145, followed by India with 12% or 6,825 tourists, the UK with 9% or 4,721 tourists, Germany with 7% or 3,881 tourists, and France with 6% or 3,510 tourists. Tourists from Australia, Canada, the US, Israel and Switzerland were also welcomed in Sri Lanka. 

Russia continues the head-start over India as the top source market year-to-date whilst furthering the lead of over 18,815 tourists. 

The top tourist source market for Sri Lanka YTD is Russia with a cumulative number of arrivals at 39,399, followed by India with 20,584, the UK with 13,204, Germany with 12,098 and France with 8,350.

With January arrivals breaking the 100,000 mark for the first time in nine months, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry started 2023 on a positive note.

Analysts pointed out that the boost in international airlines operating in Sri Lanka has improved the connectivity and the attractiveness of the destination. The Daily FT learns that most hotels are fully booked for the month, looking for a busy February. 

The Central Bank data showed that earnings from the tourism sector in January were $ 161.8 million, an increase of 6.7% from the corresponding period of 2022. 

Sri Lanka also continues to gain attention for its unique tourism offerings and its scenic beauty. The latest was when Sri Lanka has been ranked ninth in a list of the 50 most Instagrammable places in the world in 2023, based on Big 7 Travel social media data.