SL Tourism targets more Indian tourists in 2023
SLTDA believes Indian market holds more potential Eyes Russian, British, German, French markets too
Sri Lanka Tourism is looking forward to attracting more tourists from India to the country in the upcoming year.
Speaking to The Morning Business, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chairman Priantha Fernando stated: “In 2023, the main tourist target market will be India for sure, because that has potential for outbound tourists.”
Fernando said that Sri Lanka has to capitalise on the Indian market for tourism, while the same applies to the market in Russia, which has also been identified as a potential market for Sri Lanka. Within Europe, the UK, Germany, and France will be key target markets for Sri Lanka, while Spain too has been showing potential.
He added: “We are waiting for the green light for the market in China,” adding that the SLTDA expects that China will be open for outbound travel soon after the Chinese New Year.
A passenger ferry service is also slated to commence from next month between India and Sri Lanka.
The ferry service will connect the Kankesanthurai port in Jaffna district and Puducherry in Tamil Nadu. Sri Lanka’s Ports and Shipping Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that the Indian Government had extended its consent for the service.
The passenger ferry service is likely to boost the tourism sector as well as strengthen the cultural ties between the two countries. The service is being started in view of several demands to improve connectivity.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka aims to attract nearly 1.5 million tourists in 2023, Minister of Tourism Harin Fernando said, adding that the main focus is on 2024.
Speaking at a press conference held in Colombo recently, Fernando was hopeful that Sri Lanka’s tourism sector would grow over the next few months, with several airlines scheduled to fly into the island. Fernando noted, however, that the Ministry’s primary objective is to achieve roughly three million tourist visits in 2024 with the implementation of several new services, including ferries and railways operating to Sri Lanka.
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