Written by Amani Nilar
26 Feb, 2022 | 1:47 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st); Ukraine constituted of 10% of all arrivals into Sri Lanka within the past month while Russia made up 16% of all tourist arrivals, the SLTDA report for tourism arrivals in January 2022 reveals.
Out of the total arrivals of 82,327, over 31,000 tourists originated from central and eastern Europe, home to countries such as Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Russia and Kazakhstan.
An analysis of Russian arrivals in the consecutive years reveals that it has almost exceeded the pre pandemic levels as experienced in January 2019. This could be likely due to increased interest by Russian tour operators in alternative destinations to Thailand and Goa with strict public health measures in place and the launching of direct flights to Russia, the SLTDA report mentions.
Europe became the largest source of tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with 68.8% of the total traffic received in January 2022. Given the escalating number of COVID-19 cases, this can be considered as significant growth, the report further mentions.
Pent up demand especially from countries such as Russia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Germany is likely to have driven this growth momentum, according to SLTDA.
However, with the decision of Russia to invade Ukraine on 24th February, and ensuring sanctions and travel restrictions could result in an adverse situation for the tourism industry in Sri Lanka, which was just anticipating its regrowth after the COVID-19 pandemic.
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