sri lanka

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau optimistic about Tourism Industry.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman Chalaka Gajabahu expressed optimism about the tourism industry’s recovery, stating that 2024 is poised to be a significant year for the destination after multiple and unique challenges it faced during the past few years.

Speaking during the first-ever Sri Lanka Tourism roadshow in Australia’s multi-cities, he highlighted the resilience as a destination, stressing the remarkable progress made in tourism despite facing unique challenges compared to competing markets like the Maldives or Vietnam. 

“We have recovered very well. You can’t compare Sri Lanka with other competing markets. Of course, they had COVID, but they did not have an economic crisis, where we had to get tourists to go out of the country. So, from what it was in 2022, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has bounced back and 2024 is going to be a significant year for us,” he said.

He lauded Sri Lanka’s recovery strides, noting a robust increase in tourist arrivals, with over half a million visitors recorded in just the first two and a half months of 2024.

“This year we have set an ambitious target of attracting 2.3 million tourists, matching the peak numbers achieved in 2018,” he expressed confidence in hitting the milestone.

Underlining Sri Lanka’s unique selling points, Gajabahu elaborated on the country’s appeal as a year-round destination, offering diverse experiences including; sea and sand, wellness, adventure, romance, wildlife and cultural immersion.

He emphasised the country’s rich natural and cultural heritage, citing endorsements from world-renowned Hollywood filmmakers who chose Sri Lanka as a filming location. “Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Harrison Ford, who filmed scenes for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom called our island nation a studio and that is Sri Lanka,” he asserted.