Tourism now at a progressive stage - Minister Harin Fernando | Sunday Observer

Tourism now at a progressive stage - Minister Harin Fernando

13 August, 2023
SLTDA Chairman Priantha Fernando-Minister Harin Fernando

The average tourist spending per day has now increased to about USD 180 from around USD 110 previously, said Minister of Tourism and Lands Harin Fernando.

“Our target is to increase this to around USD 500 per day by 2029 for around 50 percent of arrivals,” he said

Minister Fernando said that tourism is at a progressive stage and all previous arrival forecasts have now changed. “We have now set an increased target to reach four million arrivals by 2030 and we will implement the ‘Minimum Room Rate’ for city hotels from October 1.”

He said the revised target of two million set for this year will definitely be achieved and the three million targeted for 2027 would also be achieved as the ministry has designed a highly practical strategic master plan.

He said the plan will be presented to President Ranil Wickremesinghe soon.

He said that they are at present organising the local infrastructure to focus on high spending tourist arrivals.

Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), Priantha Fernando said that to attract high spenders more infrastructure should be added.

He said at present there are only about 9,000 luxury rooms available which are basically occupied and there is a shortage of upmarket rooms, luxury facilities, including luxury transportation.

Fernando said that SLTDA has decided to develop 49 Tourist Zones while 16 zones are in operation at present.

Chairman Fernando said that last month, Sri Lanka witnessed a remarkable surge in international tourist arrivals compared to 2022. The number of tourist arrivals has skyrocketed by over 200%.

This significant increase has been attributed to several factors, including the ongoing recovery of the tourism sector, pent-up demand, improved air connectivity and the recent reopening of China as a key market. This positive trend is expected to persist throughout the year according to UNWTO.