Sri Lanka’s tourism minister admitted that Colombo had missed their tourism target of 2.5 million visitors for the year, blaming “political instability” after the island was plunged into a crisis that saw lawmakers attack each other in parliament.
Sri Lanka fell some 200,000 visitors short from their target with Minister of Tourism Development, John Amaratunga stating it was due to the turmoil at the end of last year.
However, he claimed that arrivals had still grown by 10.3 percent and that the state had reached its 3.5 billion dollar target. He went on to announce that there were “many new promotional plans for this year”.
“As Sri Lanka has been ranked the top destination to visit this year by Lonely Planet, there are major marketing campaigns evolving around it through various other international magazines, travel blogs and other digital platforms.”
“Therefore, if nothing adverse happens this year, with God’s will Sri Lanka would achieve the set targets for 2019,” he added.
Last month, tourist cancellations to the island rose in the middle of peak tourist season, reports Reuters.