September tourist arrives more than double from August – Business News

  • For the first time since pandemic arrivals cross the 10k mark
  • The largest number of arrivals registered since the border opening
  • The Pacific area emerges as the largest source market
  • SL welcomes a total of 37,924 tourists in the first 9 months

Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka more than doubled in September from August, with over 13,000 travelers entering the country in September, making it the first time since the Covid-19 eruption that the country received over 10,000 visitors in a month.

While Sri Lanka in August saw 5,040 tourists arriving on the island, on September 13 the country welcomed a total of 547 travelers, the highest number of arrivals witnessed in 2021 since the country opened borders in January.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) said in its monthly arrival report that the significant increase in tourists could reflect the improvement in international tourism due to key factors such as the increase in vaccination programs around the world, softer restrictions for vaccinated travelers and increasing consumer confidence.

The rise in tourist revenues in September was led by India, which accounted for 63 per cent of market share, followed by Pakistan and Germany.

Regionally, Asia and the Pacific became the largest source of tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with 78.9 percent of total traffic received in September 2021.

According to the SLTDA, given the negative impact of COVID-19 on the region’s contribution, September performance can be considered a significant growth.

“Geographical proximity is one of the main drivers of destination choice now, a subdued demand especially from countries like China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India is likely to have driven this growth momentum,” SLTDA said. Europe accounted for 17.3 percent of total traffic, while America accounted for 3.2 percent.

In the period January-September, a total of 37,924 tourists visited Sri Lanka. Despite the fact that the country had been open for almost nine months, total arrivals in 2021 are a decrease of 92.5 percent compared to last year (2020), when 507,311 tourists visited the country from January to 18 March 2020.

The top five international tourist-generating markets in the first nine months of the year are India, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Germany and the United Kingdom.

The SLTDA pointed out that it is noteworthy that the total arrivals up to September from Kazakhstan had registered a growth compared to the total arrivals up to September 2020, probably due to the pilot project carried out to revive the tourism industry after a 10-month pandemic induced closure.


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