Tourism is one of the mainstays of Sri Lankan economy. Sri Lanka has always been an important destination for tourism. It is also known as "The Pearl of the Indian Ocean". Today this small miracle offers leisure and business travelers a spectrum of attractions. The big commercial destinations like Colombo, Kurunegala and Kandy offer business travelers a wide range of business opportunities and trade options.
The Ministry of Tourism in Sri Lanka has forecasted a 35 percent growth in the country's tourism sector for the current year aiming to take the country forward as a leading destination for tourism in Asia. During the first seven months of the year 2009, 229,952 total tourist arrivals were reported.
The UK, India, Middle East, China, France, Germany and Eastern Europe have been identified as key markets. Other than these markets, the Government is keen to promote tourism with all South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries.
The Government has projected a target of 2.5 million tourists by 2016.The tourism ministry has launched an aggressive marketing campaign encouraging investors to establish tourist resorts, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector will also be given the impetus to start small scale tourism establishments.
The Government aims to:
- Promote sustainable development of tourism as a key sector of the economy for the economic and social well being of the people.
- Promote and reposition Sri Lanka in all relevant international markets and market segments.
- Work towards delighting visitors (domestic and international) through effective and quality facilitation of access, accommodation and other services.
- Utilize new info-technology tools to enhance the effectiveness of tourism marketing and operations.
- Be catalytic in rallying the tourism industry to work as a team.
- Generate high yield, income, and employment and contribute to regional development.
- Work in close collaboration with all stakeholder sectors such as sports, arts, crafts, culture, environment, investment, trade, the media and communities.
Sri Lanka's hotel industry is in for high growth, with the end of the ethnic conflict. It is also expected that depressed valuations and investment needs may trigger take-over in the hotel industry. The hotel industry is bound to see an upturn in the medium turn. Experts feel there is enormous scope in the leisure sector.
Last Updated on: 19-05-2010