Since gaining independence in 1947, this beautiful island has continued to attract foreign investors and tourists to the country. Tourism has seen an increase in Sri Lanka, with the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) recording 2.1 million arrivals in 2016, up 14.0 per cent from the previous year’s 1,798,380. Tourism is considered to be one of the foremost industries that provide a wide range of employment opportunities for young people. The Sri Lanka Development Authority (SLTDA) 2016 annual report indicated there are 146,115 staff in all grades indirect employment in the industry.
After the end of the island’s 30-year long civil war, Sri Lanka has seen a continuous rise in the number of tourists travelling to the country during the past decade. The government of Sri Lanka has a target of attracting over 4 million tourists yearly by 2020. Therefore, short-term residential properties given for rent as well as commercial properties focused on tourism can expect a significant demand in the next few years.
The total number of international tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka during January 2019 was 244,239. In comparison to January last year, there was a growth of 2.2% when the arrivals were 238,924. This month, the largest source market for tourists was India, followed by China and the United Kingdom. Almost 96 % of tourists travelled by air to Sri Lanka.
The Challenges Faced Today
The Sri Lanka tourism industry stands united with the rest of the world against terrorism; as we mourn this horrific tragedy, the country is moving forward with its enduring Sri Lankan resilience to restore the world’s faith in our beautiful island home and our hospitality which is the heart of the Sri Lankan way of life. The promise of Sri Lanka is a promise of hope, of family, of tolerance, of deep awareness, of diversity, of sincere connection to humanity and nature and of generosity.