1.5 millionth tourist welcomed at BIA

Sri Lanka Tourist Arrival 2015The Sri Lanka Tourism Board welcomed the arrival of the 1,500,000th tourist for the year 2014 at the Bandaranayake International Airport.

Sri Lanka Tourism officials,including Managing director Rumy Jauffer and representative from the travel and tourism industry, warmly welcomed the historic visitor, Torence Jimmy, a German tourist who arrived with Quipka Hedwig via the UL 558 Sri Lankan Airlines’ flight from Germany

Posted in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Tourism | Leave a comment

X-mas tree preparation & getting ready for the festive season

Posted in CFH | Comments Off

November Tourist Arrivals Up 9.4%

Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka during the month of November rose 9.4 percent year-on-year (YoY) to 119,727 visitors while total arrivals for the first 11 months of the year stood at 1.34 million, up 20.3 percent YoY, the official tourism data showed. Sri Lanka targets 1.5 million tourists at the end of this year and 2.5 million by 2016. To achieve this year’s target Sri Lanka needs 151,519 tourists visiting the country in December. The highest number of tourists recorded for this year for a month was 146,575 in January.

Tourist arrivals in November were boosted by a higher number of visitors mainly from Western Europe and East Asia.The East Asian arrivals recorded a 47.6 percent YoY increase during the month to 21,398, led by Chinese tourists. Arrivals from China, which includes Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, rose 125 percent YoY to 10,878.China is the third largest tourist market for Sri Lanka country-wise. Total Chinese arrivals rose 137.6 percent YoY to 117,766 during the first 11 months of 2014.
Arrivals from Japan, which is among the top 10 tourism source markets, rose 299 percent YoY to 2,518.South Asian arrivals in November remained flat at 35,135, led by Indian arrivals, which again remained flat at 19,762. India is leading among the top 10 tourism source markets for Sri Lanka. During the first 11 months of 2014, arrivals from India rose 16.3 percent YoY to 216,581.Arrivals from the Maldives improved 8.5 percent YoY to 8329. Visitors from Pakistan fell 27 percent YoY to 1,819.

Arrivals from Western Europe, Sri Lanka’s largest tourism market as a region, rose 12.8 percent YoY to 35,915. Arrivals from the UK, Sri Lanka’s second biggest market country-wise, rose 11 percent YoY to 10,730 with arrivals from Germany, the fourth largest market, increasing 17.3 percent YoY to 9,049. Tourists from France rose 9 percent YoY to 5,448.
Meanwhile, visitors from Eastern Europe, Sri Lanka’s fourth largest market as a region, fell 4.9 percent YoY 15,850 with arrivals from Ukraine dipping 42.6 percent YoY to 2,654. Political unrest in Ukraine is likely to have caused this decline. In October this year too, arrivals from Ukraine fell over 52 percent.

Posted in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Tourism | Comments Off

Colombo-Kandy Expressway takes off on Friday

President Mahinda Rajapaksa will launch the construction work on the Colombo—Kandy Expressway — one of the major infrastructure development projects undertaken by the government – with the laying of the foundation stone at Senkadagala on Friday

Information and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said foundation stones would also be laid at Rambukkana, Galewela, Galagedara and Kurunegala on Friday. The expressway being built at an estimated cost of Rs.500 billion is expected to be opened in 2018.“We did not have much experience when building the Southern Expressway. But our engineers, technicians, surveyors and others involved in the construction of the Colombo–Katunayake Expressway and the extension of the Southern Expressway to Matara have since then gained vast experience in this field. The designing, planning and constructing of this expressway will be handled by our local engineers and contractors,” the minister said. He said the expressway would pass through a 28-kilometre tunnel between Galagedara and Gannoruwa.

The new Expressway, with a 60% local and 40% foreign funding will be later extended to Jaffna in the North and Trincomalee in the East.China’s Exim Bank will fund the construction of a 35-kilometre stretch of the expressway from Potuhera to Galagedara while the International Finance Corporation will fund the construction of a 90- kilometre stretch of the expressway from Weyangoda to Galewela. The Colombo–Kandy Expressway will be connected to the Outer Circular Road at the Enderamulla interchange.

The minister said there had been several proposals since the 1960s to construct the Colombo– Kandy Expressway but for one reason or another they ended up in the dustbin while the project set in motion during the presidency of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga stopped at the Kelani Bridge with the Government having to pay compensation to the contractor.

The Government has undertaken to pay compensation to the owners on the market value of properties that were acquired by the Road Development Authority (RDA) for the project.

Posted in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Tourism | Comments Off

Sri Lanka closing in 1.5mn tourists target

October arrivals up 13.6% to 121.576

Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka during the months to September rose 13.6 percent year-on-year (yoy) to 121,576 visitors and total arrivals for the first 10 months of the year was 1.22million, up 21.5 percent yoy. Sri Lanka targets 1.5 million tourists at the end of this year and 2.5 million by 2016.Tourist arrivals in October were boosted by higher number of visitors mainly from South and East Asia. The East Asian arrivals recorded a 54.4 percent yoy increase during October, led by Chinese tourists. Arrivals from China, which includes mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau rose 120.7 percent yoy to 11,894.China is the third largest tourist market for Sri Lanka country-wise. Total Chinese arrivals in 2014 rose 139 percent yoy to 106.888 during the first 10 months of 2014.Arrivals from Japan, which is among the top 10 tourism source markets, rose 13.2 percent yoy to 2,874 while Malaysian arrivals rose 46 percent yoy to 1,822.South Asian arrivals in October rose 10.7 percent yoy to 35,718 led by Indian arrivals which rose 19.8 percent yoy to 26,148.India is leading among the top 10 tourism source markets for Sri Lanka. During the first 10 months of 2014, arrivals from India rose 18.3 percent yoy to 196,819.Arrivals from Maldives decreased by a marginal 0.4 percent yoy to 6,460. Visitors from Pakistan fell 33 percent yoy to 1,725.Arrivals from Western Europe, Sri Lanka’s largest tourism market as a region, rose 10.1percent yoy to 32,061. Arrivals from UK, Sri Lanka’s second biggest market country-wise, improved 2.7 percent yoy to 10,112 with arrivals from Germany, the fourth largest market increasing 23.8 percent yoy to 7,966.

Meanwhile, visitors from Eastern Europe in October, Sri Lanka fourth largest market as a region, fell 10.3 percent yoy 11,365 with arrivals from Ukraine dipping 52.4 percent yoy to 4,584.Political unrest in Ukraine is likely to have caused this decline. In September too, arrivals from Ukraine fell almost 47 percent. Tourist arrivals from Russia, the seventh largest market country-wise saw a modest 4 percent yoy increase to 5,302. Arrivals from Middle East, the fifth largest tourist market for Sri Lanka region-wise, saw only 0.6 percent increase with visitors from Saudi Arabian increasing by just 0.4 percent yoy to 2,652.Arrivals from UAE fell 10.4 percent yoy to 968 while arrivals from Israel rose 129 percent yoy to 689.Visitors from Australasia rose 14.7 percent yoy to 4,312 with arrivals from Australia improving 14.6 percent yoy to 3,794. Tourist arrivals from New Zealand also increased 30.6 percent yoy to 487.Sri Lanka Tourism follows the UN standard of defining a tourist as ‘’ a person who stays at least one night in a country and does not exceed his stay period for more than 12 months’’. However, despite the higher tourist arrivals, the five-star city hotels appear to be losing business big time due to a significant growth in the so-called informal sector.

A lot of tourists coming into the country seem to be taking accommodation in resorts and hotels with lower room rates compared to 5-star city hotels. Meanwhile a number of apartments, lodges etc have opened in Colombo and elsewhere to benefit from the increased tourist arrivals, which are also considered relatively cheaper options. According to Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) research, close to 11,700 rooms are available in the informal sector compared to 15,000 in the formal sector at the beginning of this year. For the quarter ending September 30, 2014 (2015) the net profit of the company fell 23 percent year-on year (yoy) to Rs 437.8 million. Earnings per share deteriorated from Rs 1.28 to Rs 0.99 yoy.

Posted in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Tourism | Comments Off

SriLankan Airlines, Qantas codeshare takes-off

A new codeshare agreement between Sri Lanka’s national carrier Sri Lankan Airlines and Australia’s flagship carrier Qantas Airways announced in September 2014, came into effect from 26 October paving the way for increased tourism potential between Sri Lanka and Australia, the national carrier said in a statement.

Passengers travelling to/from Australia on Qantas will have the opportunity of connecting to/from Sri Lankan Airlines’ thrice daily service from Singapore to Colombo.
Sri Lankan will offer its customers travelling to Australia via its common gateway in Singapore, the benefit of connecting to Qantas’ daily services between Singapore and Brisbane and Melbourne and its double daily services to Sydney.
Passengers can now enjoy the convenience of a single ticket, interlined luggage and earn frequent flyer miles all the way in both directions.

The new code share agreement is expected to be a boon for the large Sri Lankan expatriate community in Australia, who could avail themselves of the enhanced connectivity and convenience of travel when visiting friends and family in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan has recently increased flights to Singapore from twice daily to thrice daily and as a result passengers to/from Australia will now have very good connectivity when they choose to use these code share flights. Sri Lankan will now be operating 28 services a week to Australia by virtue of this code share operation.

Posted in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Tourism | Comments Off

Tourist arrivals by region – as at end of September 2014

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Tourist arrivals to the Maldives up by 11% at the end of first eight months of 2014

Tourist arrivals to the Maldives grew by 11% at the end of first eight months of 2014 compared with that of 2013. The Maldives received a total of 805,890 tourists between January and August 2014, which was almost 80 thousand more than the same period of 2013. Growth was strongest during the month of January (18.5%), and weakest during themonth of February (+5.7%). With a relaxed performance in March (6.1%), strong growth rates were recorded during the months of April (+16.2%) and May (+14.9%). As per World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), international arrivals boosted during the month of April due to the shifted Easter holidays from late March during 2013 to the second half of April 2014. The month of June recorded a growth of 9%, which was close to the average for the period. July (13.9%) was also a strong month in terms of growth which was followed by a 5.9% growth in August, the second weakest performance during the period.

In terms of leading markets from Asia and the Pacific region at the end of the period from January to August 2014, theChinese market continues its remarkable performance. While the growth of the whole region was backed by the increased arrivals from this market, China took hold of over a quarter of all arrivals to the Maldives during the period. The Maldives received a total of 252,413 tourists from China at the end of August 2014, an increase of 17.5% compared with that of 2013. Market share from China stood at 31.3% at the end of the period. India was the second largest market from the region with 3.5% shares at the end of the period from January to August 2014. The market saw an increase of 17.2% with a total of 28,524 tourists for the period. Japan followed closely behind with 3.0% shares for the period being the third largest market from the region with 24,205 arrivals. Tourist arrivals to the Maldives from Koreasaw a strong growth (32.4%) during the period in review. With a total of 21,337 arrivals between January and August 2014, market share stood at 2.6% making it as the fourth largest market from Asia and the Pacific.

EUROPE was the second largest market generator to the Maldives at the end of August 2014 with a share of 43.7%. A total of 351,858 tourists visited the Maldives from this region between January and August 2014, which was an increase of 1.9% compared with the same period in 2013. Looking at sub regions from Europe, Western Europe takes the lead taking hold of over a quarter of arrivals from Europe during the period. This sub region however, was among one of the weakest performers in terms of growth rate (+0.9%). With a total of 138,978 tourists, by the end of the period from January to August 2013, the market share was at 17.2% from this region. Central Eastern Europe was the second largest sub region taking hold of 9.3% shares during the period in review. This was the only sub region with a negative growth (-3.9%) at the end of the period. Northern Europe followed closely behind with 9% shares. Arrivals from this sub region grew by 6.3% at the end of the period. While Southern Europe contributed 7.1% shares to the total arrivals to the Maldives during the period, East Mediterranean Europe share stood at 1%. Both the regions recorded an increase of 6.5% at the end of the period.

By individual markets from Europe, leading markets were Germany (7.6%), the United Kingdom (7.4%), Russia (5.8%), Italy (5.0%) and France (4.4%). The German market saw an increase of 4.6% at the end of the period with a total of 61,268 tourists. Followed closely behind was the U.K market, which grew at 3.5% during the period January to August 2014 and brought in a total of 59,564 tourists. At the third position within Europe remained Russia. However, the Russian market has been losing its shares with its declined arrivals. At the end of August 2014, the market posted a negative growth of 5.5% leading to the market share to drop from 6% at the end of July to 5.8% by the end of August. TheItalian market has shown improvements in 2014 resulting in a positive 0.2% growth at the end of August. A total of 40,380 tourists visited the Maldives from Italy during the period in review. France, which was the fifth largest market from Europe was the second poorest performer among major markets showing a negative 3.9% growth at the end of the period from January to August.

Posted in Maldives, Maldives Tourism | Comments Off

Lotus Tower to reach 190m by December

The Lotus Tower, that is being constructed down D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha would be completed in January 2016, and it would reach 190 metres by December this year, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) said.

The Director General of TRC, Anusha Palpita said that the tower had already reached a height of 120 metres.

He said about 20 – 25 metres was being constructed monthly on the tower to increase its height.

“Altogether there are ten elevators needed in the tower, and we have begun work of a few and we hope to complete the construction of two elevators within nine months,” he said.

The petals of the lotus flower atop the structure are to be completed before mid 2015.

Mr. Palpita earlier said that the 350 metre high tower would provide facilities for fifty television and fifty broadcast service providers as well as ten communication service providers.

The construction of the tower costs US $ 104 million, and eighty percent of the cost will be funded by the EXIM Bank of China. Once completed, the Lotus Tower will be the tallest building in Sri Lanka at a height of 350 metres.

Constructed on a 10-acre plot land, the tower would be one of the highest buildings in Colombo. Office spaces, malls and parking facilities are to be accommodated in the first few floors, while the upper floors are to be used specifically for telecommunication purposes.

Under the phase II, plans are being drawn to construct a theme park, shopping mall and a car park.

Posted in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Tourism | Comments Off

Tourist arrivals rise 17% in September

Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 16.8 percent to 105,535 in September 2014 from a year earlier, driven by India and China, data from the state tourism promotion office released last week showed.In the nine months of 2014, arrivals grew by 22.4 percent to 1,107,178.

South Asian visitors improved 9.7 percent to 28,561 compared to the same month last year with arrivals from India, Sri Lanka’s top market, surging 4.6 percent to 19,244.
Visitors from Maldives were up 40.7 percent to 6,276 and Pakistan was down 17.7 percent to 1,772.

East Asian visitors were up 57.8 percent to 23,516 with arrivals from China up 129.4 percent to 13,312. In the nine months to September, visitors from China were up 52.1 percent to 207,214 compared to 107,330 from Britain up 4.5 percent. Malaysian visitors were up 22.4 percent to 1,509, Japanese were up 15.7 percent to 3,943 and Indonesia was down 9.0 percent to 863 compared to the same month last year.

Visitors from Western Europe were up 6.5 percent to 28,234 in the month with UK down 4.0 percent to 8,983 and Germany up 15.3 percent to 6,996. Western European visitors are strong in the northern hemisphere winter season and when Sri Lanka’s Western coast is sunny and calm until the monsoon season starts in May.

Eastern European arrivals were down 6.8 percent to 7,058 with Russia, the seventh largest market to Sri Lanka down 8.1 percent to 3,018, while Ukraine also down 46.9 percent to 1,350. Middle Eastern visitors were up 35.5 percent to 8,299 with arrivals from Saudi Arabis were increased by 269.7 percent to 4,433 while UAE up 10.4 percent to 481 and Oman was up 78.0 percent to 892.

Posted in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Tourism | Comments Off