New flights from Poland, Russia and China are to boost Sri Lanka’s recovery even further over the coming year.
Charmarie Maelge, managing director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, said the recovery of tourism had already been “better than expected” since the Easter Sunday terror attacks, with all airlines and cruise lines now returning to the island.
A raft of new routes and increased capacity – including the first direct flight from Poland launching this month with LOT Polish Airlines – should see arrival numbers not only recover but grow, she added.
Because of a dip in arrivals from China, the UK has now become the island’s second-largest source market, with India remaining its largest. However, Maelge said she believes the UK has much untapped potential.
“The UK used to be our number one source market and I think it has the potential to become that again,” said Maelge. “Australia has also been doing incredibly well for us, and with reports that SriLankan Airlines is to fly to Sydney from next June, I think we can double our arrivals from Australia,” she added.
Maelge said there would be fam trips for the UK market every quarter in 2020, for travel agents and also journalists and bloggers.
“The travel trade knows Sri Lanka and knows the product so we will focus on raising consumer awareness to help create the demand,” she confirmed.