Sri Lanka Tourism Revenue Soars 77.9%, Economic Boost Reported

Sri Lanka Tourism Revenue Soars 77.9%, Economic Boost Reported

News Today: Sri Lanka Tourism Revenue Growth 2024 77.9% Increase Reported

Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange revenue from tourism rose to $1.56 billion in the first six months of 2024, marking a 77.9 percent jump from the same period last year, according to the central bank, quoting tourism promotion authorities. The country also saw a 61.7 percent increase in tourist arrivals, reaching more than 1.01 million visitors in the first half of 2024.

In June alone, arrivals were up 13.1 percent to 113,470. Tourism earnings in June were estimated at $151.1 million, up from $122.9 million in the same month a year ago. This growth in tourism has contributed significantly to the country’s foreign exchange revenue, providing a much-needed boost to the economy.

Tourism accounted for nearly 5 percent of Sri Lanka’s economy when the sector was at its peak in 2018. However, it was severely impacted by the violent Easter Sunday suicide attack in 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, and an unprecedented economic crisis. Despite these challenges, the recent surge in tourism indicates a strong recovery for the sector.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) conducted a survey to estimate these tourism earnings. The increased revenue from tourism has positively impacted Sri Lanka’s imports and the merchandise trade deficit, as people in the sector spent their wages and other earnings.

However, there are concerns that tourist arrivals and revenue may slow down due to a new on-arrival visa system implemented through VFS Global. Under this system, foreign visitors who previously obtained visas free of charge are now required to pay a $21.61 fee. The island nation’s leisure industry has protested the complex website and higher fees, which are deterring some potential visitors.