Sri Lanka recorded a 44.1% year-on-year (YOY) decline in tourist arrivals during the first four months of 2020, with no tourist arrivals in April, due to the termination of all passenger flight and ship arrivals into the country from March 18, in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
“The total arrivals recorded from January to April 2019 were 907,757. In comparison to January to April last year (2019), a decline of 44.1% has been recorded for the same period in 2020,” the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) said.
However, Sri Lanka’s tourism office has stated that about 10,000 tourists still remain in Sri Lanka.The tourism office has asked them to register at their portal.
Meanwhile, the largest source markets recorded for the period from January to April was India, followed by the United Kingdom and Russian Federation. During this period almost 95 % of tourists travelled by air to Sri Lanka.
In comparison to the arrivals from January to April last year the highest decline of 50.8 % was recorded for Africa while Asia & Pacific recorded a decline of 49.2 %.
U.S recorded a decline of 48.4 % whereas Middle East region recorded a decline of 41.3 %. A decline of 39.7 % was recorded from Europe.
The effect of the outbreak of COVID 19 is clearly evident as all countries have recorded a decline in arrivals from mid of February. However, It is noteworthy that arrivals from countries, Kazakhstan (92.7 %), Bhutan (43.4 %), Russian Federation (15.2 %), Poland (11.2 %) and Turkey (3.2 %) have recorded an increase for the above period.
India, United Kingdom, Russia, Germany and China were Sri Lanka’s top five international tourist generating markets for the period from January to April this year.
Except for Russian federation all the other markets in the top ten list have recorded a decline for the above period. India was the largest source of tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with 17.6 % of the total traffic received in above period.
United Kingdom accounted for 10.9 % of the total traffic; while Russian Federation, Germany and France accounted for 9.7 %, 6.8 % and 5.2 % respectively.
Comparing the top ten markets, It is noteworthy that China has recorded the highest decline of 71.7 %.