Business Monitor International (BMI) believes the outlook is still bright for Sri Lanka tourism and forecast a 55% rise in tourist arrivals to 1.42mn tourists over BMIs newly extended forecast period to 2016.
The BMI, a London-based company, publishes specialist business information on global emerging markets for senior executives in more than 125 countries worldwide.
Core Forecasts In 2010, Sri Lanka welcomed 654,477 tourists, an increase of 46% and very much in line with BMI’s forecast of a 50% increase for the year. July was the high watermark for monthly arrivals, when Sri Lanka welcomed 83,786 tourists – up by 32.3%. Other months with strong increases were March and April, when there was 43.5% and 66.7% growth respectively, according to the BMI ‘Sri Lanka Tourism Report Q1 2012’.
Following a strong 2010, 2011 has been another positive year for Sri Lankan tourism. Arrivals over the first nine months of the year stand at 598,006, up by 34.3%. With November and December historically being strong months for inbound tourism, BMI forecast 40% growth in tourist arrival numbers for 2011 as a whole. This should take tourist arrivals to about 914,000, the report adds.
It is clear that 2012 will be another boon year for hotel construction and renovation, the BMI stated in its report.
Hambantota will also reportedly be established as a significant export hub for cargo planes, which could free up space at Bandaranaike for more tourist flights, the report said.