Sri Lanka has set a target of attracting 2.5 million tourists in 2017, despite difficulties posed by the partial closure of its international airport and the withdrawal of the national carrier from key markets.
Growth is expected mainly from India and China, which have emerged as the biggest sources of visitors, with high-growth rates.
Tourism Development, Land and Christian Affairs Minister John Amaratunga at a media briefing yesterday said Sri Lanka, hoping to attract 2.5 million tourists this year, will launch long-delayed Rs. 800 million international tourism promotions campaign in June this year.
He said the partial closure of the international airport from Jan 6- April 6, during the peak tourism season, for the renovation of its runway is a tremendous setback but expressed hope that the tourism promotions campaign and word of mouth of tourists who visited the country in 2016 would help to achieve the target.
He said Sri Lanka’s earnings from tourism in 2016 were estimated to be around $3.5 billion.
Sri Lanka will also launch a long-delayed international tourist marketing campaign this year