December Tourist Arrivals up 55.8 percent, year ends on a promising note
Sri Lanka Tourism which recovered after a year long slump since September 2006 out did its 20 percent growth in November 2007, with a 55.8 percent increase in December. Arrivals that had decreased by 40 percent in May last year, had picked up by year end, to finish the year with 494,008 arrivals narrowing the drop to 11.7 percent.
January looked promising with the visiting Bohra Spiritual Leader and accompanying devotees filling up city hotel rooms at premium prices. The overflow of visitor demand in the city, was also taken by Negombo, Wadduwa and Kalutara Hotels.
Sri Lanka Tourism is confident that the industry will be able to weather the storms and continue to attract visitors.
Minister of Tourism, Milinda Moragoda stated that “We are looking at 2008 as the year of consolidation. Much effort will be laid on improving the quality of the tourism products while focusing on key markets such as India, Middle East, China and Russia that have shown a growth potential. Much will be done also to consolidate the conventional markets from Western Europe. I want to thank the Sri Lanka Tourism Team including the private sector, for the efforts they made and the hard work they put in, in these challenging times. We as a team managed the transformation process from the old to the New Tourism Act in setting up new institutions effectively and we look forward to better times ahead”.