Sri Lanka: The Destination for 2010?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

It seems that the troubles in Sri Lanka are over so it won’t be before long that tourism steps up as well. Here is a country that promotes itself widely at travel trade shows and supports advertising its appeal but the new stories must have contributed to the lack of people going there. In July this year, only 42,000 visited it, yet this was up by almost 10,000 on last year when the troubles were still going on.

Peace seems to have an immediate effect. But for 2010, the tourist board is still only targeting half a million visitors. Just how small this figure is comes into sharp relief when you compare it to Vietnam. Vietnamese tourism has grown steadily and whilst it doesn’t seem an obvious place for UK tourists to go to given the distance, the number might surprise you. The tourist board was hoping for 4.2 million tourists this year but, because of the slump, is now thinking of about 3.7 million. Numbers from the Uk are holding up and we will have a report on it in November for you.

This is still 7 times more than Sri Lanka is forecasting for 2010. It could be that Sri Lanka becomes one of the success stories of 2010. After all it has beaches, historic sites, forests with elephants and whale watching opportunities, safaris, wetlands and shopping. Not many other countries can offer all that. So for that reason it wouldn’t surprise me if the tour operators start heavily promoting Sri Lanka to us for next year.

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