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Following the end of the bitter 26-year conflict in 2009, and in the aftermath of the tragic events of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, when more than 30,000 people lost their lives, Sri Lanka is undergoing significant infrastructure development and investment. The tourism industry has been growing fast, with 2011 seeing the highest number of visitors to its shores than ever before, and figures for 2012 encouraging, possibly even reaching the 1-million mark. The country has been recently and regularly cited as a top emerging destination by travel industry experts including Lonely Planet, Condé Nast and National Geographic, and is widely regarded as affordable and easily accessible thanks to the availability of low-cost flights from the convenient travel hub of Bangkok.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) published a Tourism Development Strategy in September 2011, which included ambitious targets of tourist arrivals and expenditure to 2020. However, these are achievable if the country remains politically stable, and investment in its infrastructure stays ahead of the demand that it is currently experiencing.

The country offers a diverse tourism product, appealing to those seeking beaches as well as culture and adventure lovers, and those interested in more niche markets such as war tourism and culinary tourism. It also has a broad range of accommodation, from international chains to more intimate home-stays. Consequently, it has much to offer and potentially appeals to a broad market. However, the marketing message to each of these segments needs to be clear, and the product needs to match the expectations of the tourists. Anything less, and tourist arrivals will fall far short of the targets set. 


Liqueurs - UK - January 2012

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Sri Lanka: Key Facts

    • Introduction

      • Data Sources

          • History
            • Geography
            • Attractions

              • Tourism and the Economy

                  • Figure 1: Sri Lanka’s economy, 2010-11
                • International inbound tourism expenditure
                  • Figure 2: Tourism expenditure, 2007-11
                • Employment in the tourism sector
                  • Figure 3: Direct employment in the tourism industry, 2009-11
              • Arrivals

                • International
                  • Figure 4: Inbound tourist arrivals, 2007-11
                  • Figure 5: Inbound tourist arrivals, 2011-12
                  • Figure 6: Top 10 inbound tourist arrivals, by country of residence, 2011
                • Domestic
                • Market Characteristics

                  • International
                    • Purpose of visit
                      • Figure 7: Inbound tourist trips, by purpose of visit, 2011
                      • Figure 8: Top 5 tourist-generating countries, by purpose of visit, 2011
                    • Seasonality
                      • Figure 9: Seasonality of tourist arrivals, 2011
                    • Length of stay
                      • Figure 10: Average length of stay of tourists, by region of origin, 2010-11
                    • Domestic
                    • Transport

                        • Air
                          • Road
                            • Rail
                              • Sea
                              • Accommodation

                                  • Figure 11: Hotel capacity and tourist nights in all accommodation, 2011
                                  • Figure 12: Total accommodation availability in graded establishments by region, 2007-11
                                  • Figure 13: Tourist nights and occupancy rates, 2011
                              • Tourism News

                                • Launch of Tourism Development Strategy
                                  • Regional tourism infrastructure projects
                                    • Hotel operators see potential
                                      • Sri Lanka ‘top travel tip’ of the moment
                                        • China identified as new market for Sri Lanka
                                          • Sri Lanka targets international golfers
                                          • What Next?

                                            • Rising to the challenge
                                              • Protecting the tourism product
                                                • War tourism an opportunity
                                                  • Tourism Development Strategy forecasts

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