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Sri Lanka gets ready for an upturn in seasonal arrivals as September tourism earnings fall 

Sri Lanka witnessed its earnings from the tourism industry fall in September for the second straight month because of lesser arrivals ahead of a more anticipated season which has got moving from the beginning of October and concludes in January. Based on the data available through September, the tourism industry has ushered in US$ 53.6 million in foreign exchange in the month, bringing the collective nine-month earnings to US$ 946.4 million.

September earnings were lesser than both July and August when the figures for those two months were US$ 85.1 million and US$ 67.9 million individually. In the same month, a year before the industry had earnings of US$ 35.3 million from 13,547 visitors when the country was under lockdown which was only taken off on October 1st. 

During September 2022, 29,802 tourists visited Sri Lanka which was under 37,760 arrivals in August and 47,293 arrivals in July. Sri Lanka’s monthly arrivals surpassed 100,000 through March as the country got off to an excellent start in tourism with high expectations of the foreign exchange it could produce in 2022, after two years of near devastation of the industry due to the pandemic.

Nevertheless, the economic crisis which was caused by the foreign currency shortage gave rise to months-long social and political unrest and darkened industry expectations as the main source markets inflicted travel advisories against Sri Lanka before they were slowly eased from a couple of months ago.

While September is usually a slow month for arrivals, tourism authorities said the negative news coverage on the country’s economic and social state has had a bearing on the industry as several possible inbound tourists either look past Sri Lanka or canceled their travel plans to the country. 

As a result, Sri Lanka recently reduced its arrival target from about 800,000 to 850,000 by the conclusion of the year from a million arrivals. In the nine months, Sri Lanka has greeted 526,232 visitors as tourists. With the beginning of the winter season in Europe, Sri Lanka is looking at a possible growth in bookings, particularly from countries like Germany and Switzerland. 



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