Sri Lanka to tap in to food tourism

Sri Lanka is planning to tap into food tourism as the crisis-hit island nation tries to diversify its tourism market and increase its foreign earnings, an official said.

Recognizing the potential in promoting the country as a tropical nation with a diverse culinary style, Sri Lanka’s tourism promoters who targets 2 million tourists in 2023, hope to include this in their promotional campaign.

“This tourism segment has worldwide demand, and we have great potential due to the diverse food culture in our country,” Priantha Fernando, Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority told Economy Next.

“This segment will resonate well with foreigners and is a way to promote provincial or regional tourism by creating an identity through food.”

Sri Lanka has a rich and diverse culinary history that has been influenced by various cultures and civilizations, including Indian, Arab, Malay, Portuguese, Dutch, and British culinary traditions.

The country also has a tea culture deeply rooted in its history and is renowned for its high-quality tea production, particularly black tea, known as Ceylon tea, both locally and internationally.

“To be honest, we haven’t given much focus to food tourism, but it is an area that we need to develop as it holds tremendous potential,” Rohan Fernandopulle, President of Bocuse d’Or Sri Lanka, a culinary professionals’ association said.

According to the Chairman of SLTDA, the country witnessed 83,000 tourist arrivals in the month of May, and for the whole year, the number stood at 525,000 tourist arrivals.