Despite the current economic crisis in Sri Lanka, which has led to planned power interruptions and shortage of fuel and domestic gas, tourist arrivals during July reached 47,293.
With the 47,293 visitors in July, the total number of visitors this year surpassed 458,670.
During the first six months of this year, Sri Lanka had attracted more than 411,377 travellers into the country with June bringing in 32,856 visitors, May bringing in 30,207 visitors, April 62,980 visitors, March 106,500 visitors, February 96,507 and January 82,327 visitors.
March 2022 recorded the highest number of tourist arrivals since February 2020.
Europe became the largest source of tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with 62.8 per cent of the total traffic received in July 2022. Pent up demand especially from countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany and France is likely to have driven this growth momentum. Asia and the Pacific accounted for 23.4 per cent of total arrivals. The Americas accounted for 10.6 per cent of the total traffic while the Middle East accounted for 2.7 per cent.
The gradual improvement in international travel is once again threatened and it is anticipated that the spillovers from Ukraine war will sharply hasten the deceleration of global economic activity. The war is leading to high commodity prices, adding to supply disruptions, increasing food insecurity and poverty, exacerbating inflation contributing to tighter financial vulnerabilities and policy uncertainty. Coupled with these, the internal factors such as the current economic crisis could create dual shocks on tourism industry.
Country-wise, The United Kingdom, India, Germany, France and Canada were Sri Lanka’s top five international tourist generating markets for the month of July this year.
The United Kingdom was the largest source of tourist visits to Sri Lanka with 20 per cent of the total traffic received in July. India and Germany accounted for 13 per cent and 8 per cent of the total traffic respectively while France and Canada accounted for 7 per cent.
In comparison to last month the source markets such as Germany and France have moved up the list of top ten markets whereas India and Australia have moved down the list.
The negative spillovers of the war in Ukraine and the rising inflation could be the reasons behind the changing market trends which could create detrimental effects on tourism in Sri Lanka.
By Mario Andree