Sri Lanka holidays enjoying unprecedented boom
After years of whirlwind struggle for Sri Lanka's tourism industry with the civil that took place on the island's northern area, the country now rid of all war scare is finally enjoying an unprecedented boom in the number of tourist arrivals to the island
According to recent reports, Sri Lanka holidays have been on the up enjoying a great deal of popularity among travellers after what has been an impressively quick recovery from the sequels of the country’s civil war which ended just last year. Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has recovered so quickly from last year’s civil war that worldwide travellers have been massively flocking down the island to enjoy Sri Lanka holidays, so much that the country is expected to shortly run out of hotel capacity as they experience an unprecedented boom.
Tourist arrivals to the island have risen for 10 consecutive months and were up 50 % in March 2010, compared to the same period last year.
Indian tourists took up the top slot with a total of 8,607 going for Sri Lanka holidays, while tourists from the United Kingdom closely followed in the second position with 8,559 visitors and Germany in trailed behind in the third spot with a total of 5,305 visitors. And with the increase in operations from the low cost carrier, Air Asia, arrivals from Malaysia also saw a healthy increase in the number of Malaysian tourist taking Sri Lanka holidays.
Dilip Mudadeniya, Director General Marketing, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, said how the island expects this healthy trend to continue in the future - “This positive sentiment is due to peace and the removal of travel advisories and we expect this healthy trend to continue,”
However, according to Chief executive Ajit Gunawardene of Sri Lanka’s largest hotel group; John Keells, if the tourism economy continues to grow at such rates there will be an occupancy shortage within as little as two years. Currently, Sri Lanka holidays’ tourist infrastructure can handle up to 800,000 visitors a year, comfortably meeting expected demand this year of 500,000.
Nevertheless, within the next two years, arrivals by visitors travelling to Sri Lanka holidays are expected to double and then double again two years later to a total of 2 million. Gunawardene suggests that unless the country embarks on a massive project to build more Sri Lanka hotels it will fail to meet demand.
“This gives you an indication of the type of momentum we want to maintain,” - Mr Gunawardene added.
He added that on their part, John Keells had begun renovating Sri Lanka hotels and building more to meet the current tourism boom that shows no sign of stopping or halting.
John Keells is currently upgrading its largest hotel in Colombo, overhauling another one in Trincomalee, the war-torn east and building new Sri Lanka hotels in the south.
The hotelier also has a firm eye on the planned expansion of Colombo’s port, which is strategically placed on shipping lanes between Europe, the Middle East and China. The group is expected to bid with its partner Denmark’s Maersk for an additional terminal, which once finished would make Colombo the largest port in south Asia, with the capacity to bring many more worldwide travellers to Sri Lanka holidays.
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