Sri Lanka tourism boom ‘fuelled by a diversity of visitors and attractions’, say WTM report
Social media, especially Facebook, is helping drive a boom in Sri Lanka tourism, according to a report by data and analytics company GlobalData quoted by WTM.
Says analyst Sean Hyett: “Social media has been a major factor in influencing people to go to Sri Lanka, as online posts showing the country’s idyllic beaches and natural landscape have acted as a hugely impactful viral marketing tool.”
His comments are included in a post which notes that “cultural tourism is a major draw but sports, events, health and business tourism are also becoming important sectors”.
It adds that Sri Lanka “has always appealed because of the range of attractions in a small area, without the need to travel long distances between the capital, Colombo, and its beach and highland resorts.”
Meanwhile, a Euromonitor International forecast is for more than three million tourists a year by 2022, with India and China being the top markets, followed by the UK and Germany.
In addition, the experiential travel boom means that younger, more active travellers are a prime target for the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, which is also targeting health and wellness tourism.
Says spokesman Dushan Wickramasuriya: “Older and middle-aged tourists are interested in visiting historic sites and exploring culture, while the younger generation is into adventure tourism such as trekking, hiking, surfing and water rafting.”
This diversification is reflected by major hotel operator Jetwing, whose latest property is eco-luxury resort Jetwing Surf in Pottuvil Point.
Says spokesman Prasanna Welangoda: “Sri Lanka has long been established as a beach destination, but we’re now being discovered for the variety of experiences such as wellness tourism, particularly Ayurveda treatments. This is a segment with immense potential along with Mice, adventure and wildlife travel.”
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