Tourist Arrivals to Maldives increases during the first two months of 2014

Tourist arrivals to the Maldives saw an increase of 11.6% during the first two months of 2014 compared with the same period of 2013, reaching a total of 216,001.

In terms of market shares Europe led, taking account for 50% of all arrivals to the Maldives with an additional 1,659 tourists to achieve an accumulated sum of 108,075 tourists for the period. Growth (+1.6%) was marginal backed by sub regions Northern Europe (+8.4%) and Central Eastern Europe (+3.8%). By individual market performance, Russia was the leading market from the region with 7.2% shares. However, the Russian market recorded a negative growth of 2.1% during the first two months of 2014. Russia was followed by the U.K (6.8%), Germany (6.7%), France (6.6%) and Italy (6.6%). Out of these only the U.K market had a positive growth (+3.6%) for the period.

Asia and the Pacific brought in additional 17,412 tourists reaching a total of 94,490 during the first two months of 2014 increasing the market share to 43.7%. With all the sub regions showing positive growth rates for the period, the region registered an above average growth of +22.6%.

South East Asia led the growth with a robust +83.3%. However, in terms of market shares, North East Asia was the leading sub region covering 34.9% of all arrivals during the period. The Chinese (29.5%) market took hold of most of the shares accounted for Asia Pacific Region.

Americas (3.2%), Middle East (2.6%) and Africa (0.5%) all had positive growth rates of 38.1%, 30.9% and 7.4% respectively, during the first two months of 2014 compared with the same period of 2013.

Out of the 435 tourist accommodation establishments registered in the Ministry at end February 2014, a total of 315 establishments were operational. These include 104 tourist resorts (23,496 beds), 19 hotels (1,626 beds), 145 guest houses (1,988 beds) and 162 safari vessels (2,684 beds). The tourist bed nights of these establishments increased by 4.5% during the period with a total of 674,828 nights. While the occupancy rate was maintained at 88.7%, the average duration of stay was 6.1 days, which was 0.1 less than that of 2013 same period.

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March tourist arrivals up 17.5%

Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 17.5 percent Year- on-Year (YoY) to 133,048 in March 2014, with Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE leading the list, data released by the country’s tourism authority showed. Arrivals in the first three months of the year were up 24.8 percent YoY to 421,501.

Chinese arrivals which include Hong Kong and Macau rose 155.1 percent YoY to 7,700 while arrivals from Saudi Arabia stood at 2,672, up 98.5 percent while arrivals from the UAE grew 80.5 percent to 767.

From the East Asian region, Japan was up 53.7 percent to 3,800, Malaysia was up 51.8 percent to 2,301 and Philippines dropped 1.7 percent to 951.

Tourist arrivals from Eastern Europe increased significantly in terms of growth with a YoY increase of 49.1 percent to 18,657 arrivals during the month under review of which 8,948 were Russians visiting the country, up 85.4 percent from a year earlier. Ukraine was down 8.8 percent to 3,311 and the Czech Republic up 27.5 percent to 1,464.

Meanwhile SLTDA data suggested that during the month under consideration, Sri Lanka witnessed a decline in arrivals from certain Western European markets such as the UK, Switzerland, and Norway etc. with the German market being an exception.

Accordingly, arrivals from the UK declined 13 percent YoY to 11,823, Switzerland fell 15.7 percent to 1,419 and Norway fell 17.9 percent to 474. However, the German market showed an increase of 19.9 percent to 12,448.

From the same region, France was up 27.8 percent to 9,266, Austria up 23.8 percent to 1,482 and Netherlands up 2.9 percent to 1,540. The North American region, which includes Canada and the USA, showed an increase in arrivals from 5,772 in March 2013 to 6,042 during 2014. Arrivals from the USA increased 4.3 percent YoY to 3,401and Canada 5.1 percent to 2,641. 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.”

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February tourist arrivals up 24.5%

Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 24.5 percent Yearon-Year (YoY) to 141,878 in February 2014, with India, Russia and China leading the list, data released by the country’s tourism authority showed.

Arrivals in the first two months of the year were up 28.5 percent YoY to 288,453, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) said. Tourist arrivals from Eastern Europe topped the list in terms of growth with a YoY growth of 55.5 percent to 22,927 arrivals during the month under review of which 9,723 were Russians visiting the country, up 92 percent from a year earlier. Ukraine was up 5.3 percent to 4,905 and the Czech Republic up 26.2 percent to 1,996. SLTDA data suggested that during the month in consideration, Sri Lanka witnessed an increase in arrivals from UK and German markets as well. Accordingly, arrivals from the UK grew 5.2 percent YoY to 14,316 while the German market showed an increase of 15 percent to 11,305. From the same region, France was up 28.6 percent to 10,617, Switzerland up 9.3 percent to 2,244, Austria up 10.4 percent to 2,086 and Netherlands up 13.2 percent to 2,066. The North American region, which includes Canada and the USA, showed an increase in arrivals from 5,235 in February 2013 to 5,489 during 2014 although arrivals from the USA declined marginally (0.4 percent) YoY to 2,880.
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.”

Chinese arrivals which include Hong Kong and Macau rose 63.9 percent YoY to 10,319 while arrivals from India stood at 17,534, up 21.5 percent. From the East Asian region, Japan was up 6.6 percent to 3,350, Malaysia dropped 27.4 percent to 1,756 and Philippines dropped 35.5 percent to 708.

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Tourism with a different approach – Responsible Tourism

In Nov’13, CFH invited 12 travel agents in France who feature Sri Lanka as a leading destination in their travel solutions. It was conducted in collaboration with one of their prime tour operators “PARTIR” in view of exploring the potentials of this magical Island to promote tourism with a different approach among French nationals. It concentrated largely on “Responsible Tourism” searching for various avenues to implement this theme in their future programming encouraging French tourists to undertake their holidays with more value added to their entertainment and contributing to community of the destination they discover.

They had the opportunity to experience a similar type of project when they visited “Pubudu” pre-school in the Giritale village to distribute school items to around 25 students. It created the opportunity to support this pre-school more meaningfully by contributing to complete the classroom which was only foundation laid. It was the dream of the village to establish proper place for their education in a more permeant manner available for these innocent children to enjoy their pre-school eduction with greater freedom.  It was then decided instantly by the group members to initiate a project worth of Rs.180,000/- partially funded by CFH as well to complete the construction of the classroom and rest of the basic materials. It was completed within a 45 days period after an extensive project collectively contributed by the families of the students and monitored by a senior staff of Giritale Hotel Mr. Thilak.

These photos justify the light of hope and happiness through a wonderful project thanks to enormous generosity and understanding values of “Responsible Tourism”.

Their precious experience will encourage many more projects through their future clients to sustain those who are in need while enjoying beauty and touristic values of the island.

CFH management and team are proud of this achievement and company will focus to motivate more in this nature with future tour solutions.

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January tourist arrivals up 32%

January Tourist arrivals

Sri Lanka received 146,575 tourists during the month of January (2014), up 32.6 percent from the corresponding month of the previous year, data released by the country’s tourism authority revealed.

Tourist arrivals from East Asia topped the list in terms of growth with a Year on Year (YoY) growth of 95.6 percent to 25,823 arrivals during the month under review from which 10,779 arrivals were from China, Hong Kong and Macau, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) said. During the month in consideration, Sri Lanka witnessed an increase in arrivals from UK and German markets as well. Accordingly, arrivals from the UK grew 13.6 percent YoY to 12,896 while the German market showed an increase of 16.7 percent to 9,211.From the Eastern European region, Russia led the list with 10,700 arrivals during January up 91.6 percent from the previous year.

Arrivals from India grew marginally to 17,886 during the month under review up only 5.6 percent from a year earlier. The North American region, which includes Canada and the USA, showed an increase in arrivals from 5,644 in January, 2013 to 6,909 during January.Earlier in January, SLTDA said that Sri Lanka had received 1.27 million tourists during 2013, topping a 1.2 million target set for 2013 after changing the method of calculation.

Total tourist arrivals during December, 2013 stood at 153,918 up 25.9 percent from the previous year and the agency stated that statistical estimates for the year 2013 were prepared after validating the data received from the border control system of Department of Immigration and Emigration.

Sri Lanka Tourism follows a 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 it is noteworthy that the tourism office had not released hotel occupancy numbers for the entirety of 2013.

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Christmas Celebrations at CFH

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Kandy expressway to begin in January 2014

The construction work ont the northern expressway linking Colombo to Kurunegala, Dambulla and Kandy,will begin in January, Minister Nirmala Kotalawala said yesterday.

Under the first phase, the proposed expressway will be linked to the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway and will extend up to Kurunegala via Ederamulla and Meerigama, and then extended up to Katugastota in Kandy. The next phase will be the construction of the highway up to Dambulla.

Mr. Kotalawala, who is the Project Minister of Highways, told Daily Mirror that the expressway would be constructed in three stages under the concept ‘Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) with financial assistance from China.

“We will start work in January. We will also open the Galle-Matara stretch of the southern expressway in January. Simultaneously with this opening ceremony, we will start work on extending it up to Hambantota,” he said.

The minister said another expressway had been proposed between Bandaragama and Ratnapura while the stretch of the outer circular road up to Kaduwela would be commissioned in January.

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September tourist arrivals up 26%

Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka in the month of September rose 26.2 percent from a year ago to 89 761, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority statics showed. During the first nine months of 2013, the arrivals rose 15.5 percent Year-on-Year (YoY) to 801,210.

Indian visitors, Sri Lanka’s largest market grew by as much as 30 percent YoY to 18,048 in September.During the first nine months, India accounted for 131,589 tourists or 16 percent of the total arrivals.

Tourist arrivals from United Kingdom (UK) and Germany-two leading traditional markets accounted 11 percent and 7 percent of the total arrivals respectively, being among the top ten markets for Sri Lanka.Visitors from Maldives roses 34.5 percent YoY to 4,977 and arrivals from the South Asian region were up 31.8 percent YoY to 195,195.

Although Chinese arrivals increased by as much as 81.2 percent YoY the 4,847 arrivals in September were very insignificant given the magnitude of the China’s outbound tourism market.Meanwhile in September, 9,070 British nationals arrived in Sri Lanka recording a mild 5.6 percent increase YoY with 6,732 Germans arriving, an increase of 36.2 percent YoY.

Overall Western European arrivals were up 19.1 percent YoY to 26,598 with UK and Germany leading the pack. Russian arrivals were up 71 percent YoY to 2,920 and visitors from Ukraine were up 38 percent YoY to 2,201 helping the total Eastern European visitors to increase by 42 percent YoY to 6,646. Total Russian and Ukraine arrivals up to September were 22,562 and 15,294, respectively.

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300 Chinese travel agents to visit Sri Lanka

China has promised to send 300 tour operators to Sri Lanka on a familiarization tour.

This assurance was given by Song Yu,the Vice Chairman of Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development, when he held a meeting with the Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Bhashwara Gunarathna in Beijing recently. The duo met recently, when Gunarathna was in China to attend the ”Sri Lanka Shines in Beijing” joint mega promotional campaign carried out by the SLTPB. Song yu also assured to provide his fullest support to promote Sri Lanka in China, as he believed the Island is an ideal destination for holiday loving Chinese travelers. Sri Lankan Tourism is already making arrangements to bring down this delegation.

This kind of familiarization tours is expected to boost Sri Lanka’s effort of attracting 250,000 tourists by year 2016.

Sri Lanka tourism which has identified the growing tendency of Chinese to travel overseas, has conducted a series of promotional campaigns during coming years, targeting those potential visitors.

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August tourist arrivals up 26%

Tourist arrivals increased by 26.1 percent year-on-year (YoY) to 100,244 visitors in August. The Western European region recorded the highest arrivals with 38,951 in August against 32,656 arrivals last year,with arrivals from the UK and Germany increasing by 6.9 percent YoY and 35 percent YoY respectively to 12,353 and 8,318 arrivals each.

India was the single largest source of arrivals to the country with 14,528 visitors in August,up 29.2 percent YoY while the South Asian region as a whole accounted for 22,208 arrivals,reflecting a 35.9 percent YoY growth.

The East Asian region accounted for a further 15,544 arrivals up 33.4 percent YoY and China with a 73.6 percent YoY increase in arrivals to 4,098 visits during the month.

Arrivals from Eastern Europe increased by 8.3 percent YoY to 4,281 visits with Russia accounting for 1,981 tourists. However,arrivals from Ukraine dropped 10.7 percent YoY  to 1,010 arrivals in August.Additionally, arrivals from the Middle East increased 75.4 percent YoY to 8,683 visits. India,China,Russia and the Middle East are tipped as emerging tourist markets with many destinations now realigning their tourist campaigns to cater to these new markets.The total arrivals from January to August this year increased by 14.3 percent YoY to 711,466 visitors,mostly from the Western European region,which accounted for 281,223 arrivals reflecting a 13.9 percent YoY increase.South Asian arrivals topped 168,796 approximately 12.6 percent over the previous year with India accounting for 113,541 arrivals, a marginal 4.9 percent YoY increase.

Meanwhile,arrivals from East Asia grew by 23.6 percent YoY to 97,361 arrivals while arrivals from Eastern Europe grew 21 percent YoY to 46,411 arrivals.Sri Lanka Tourism target for the end of this year stands at 1.1 million arrivals, having been revised down from a previously targeted 1.25 million arrivals. (CF)

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