700k int’l tourists visited Sri Lanka in 2022

Based on the data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, India topped the list with 17 per cent of the total tourist arrivals…reports Asian Lite News

Last year ended on a good note for Sri Lanka’s tourism sector as the arrivals of international visitors to the country topped the 700,000 mark despite the ongoing economic and political crisis, local media reported on Tuesday.

According to official statistics, December saw a total of 91,961 tourists arriving in the island nation, recording the third-highest monthly arrivals in 2022, taking the total number of visitors last year to 719,978, reports Xinhua news agency.

Industry stakeholders said the Tourism Ministry expected to close the year with at least 800,000 tourists, for which several initiatives and promotional campaigns were carried out in potential source markets in the fourth quarter.

Based on the data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, India topped the list with 17 per cent of the total tourist arrivals.

Russia ranked second accounting for 13 per cent and Britain became the third largest source market with 12 per cent.

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday said that as Sri Lanka walks into the New Year with the baggage from 2022, 2023 will be a critical year for the country to turn around its crisis-struck economy, reported Daily Mirror.

According to the Daily Mirror report: “Wickremesinghe in his New Year message acknowledged that the citizens of the country are looking at the year 2023 after having undergone the bleakest of times, immense hardships, as well as the uncertainties and hopelessness of the last year.” Wickremesinghe said: “I understand the great burdens that are placed on all of us and the setbacks that a majority of us have suffered due to the country’s abject economic collapse.”

The year 2022 which kicked off with optimism and hopes of reviving from the issues stemming from the COVID pandemic turned out to be somewhat of a nightmare for the citizens of the country.

The president said that 2022 started with optimism and hopes for reviving from the crisis caused by COVID. The year, however, turned out to be a nightmare for the country’s citizens.

Wickremesinghe said that just as economic activity was picking up in 2022, the poor policy decision taken over the years, brought the economy to its worst state in history.

“The lack of foreign exchange, revenue, and also food security threatened, and continues to threaten the people and businesses of the country, which has resulted in a flight of human resources,” Wickremesinghe said according to Daily Mirror.

The report also quoted the Sri Lankan President saying: “While at present the exit of workers is celebrated by the government as it is expected to bring the required foreign exchange by way of remittance, the impact of the loss of talent required to build the economy will soon be felt. The tourism sector is already feeling the impact.”

According to Wickremesinghe, the worst is over.

“I believe that we have already gone through the worst of these times. I sincerely appreciate all of you who are committed to our country first and I thank you for your patience and courage as we took the critical, initial steps to stabilise the economy,” he said.

The critical situation of the currency crisis in Sri Lanka has resulted in political, economic and social turmoil. Further, this currency collapse has resulted in a rise in food prices by 100 per cent in two years. Amid all this, President Ranil Wickremesinghe has sought support, The Island Online reported.

In Sri Lanka around 40 per cent of households depend on agriculture. And two out of ten homes have suffered income reduction from June to December 2022. And to recover from the income reduction one out of two households use negative coping mechanisms like loans to cope with the lack of food or money to buy it, according to The Island Online English-language daily in Sri Lanka. (IANS/ANI)

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