Sri Lanka aims for tourism revival with 1.5 million arrivals in 2023

Sri Lanka hopes to double tourist arrivals to 1.5 million next year, and bring in USD5 billion in vital foreign exchange, the country’s tourism minister said last week.

The statement came as the island nation seeks ways to tackel its worse financial crisis in seven decades.

Sri Lanka has been struggling for months to pay for essential imports of fuel, food and medicine because of a lack of foreign exchange.

Sri Lanka’s tourism chief Harin Fernando noted the tourism could have an imperative impact on Sri Lanka’s recovery.

The country will reportedly end 2022 with 750,000 tourist arrivals and about USD2 billion in earnings. Minister Fernando said they will be targeting high end tourists and introducing new products in 2023.

While tourism has recovered somewhat in Sri Lanka, the recovery is lower than its regional competitors.

Meanwhile, Maldives has been welcoming over 100,000 tourists on a monthly basis for the past months, while tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka have been ranging from 30,000 to 60,000, official statistics showed.

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