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Sri Lanka expects 2.2 million visitors for 2016

touristSri Lanka said it expects 2.2 million visitors in 2016, which would be a 26% growth compared with 2015.

Sri Lanka’s Tourism Authority said that the country has welcomed 1.7 million visitors as of October, a 14.6% increase compared with the same time period last year. India, China and the United Kingdom are the top three source markets for Sri Lanka.

The data was made public at the opening of the Asian Hotel Tourism and Investment Conference in Colombo.

Sri Lanka’s Government recently launched several initiatives to attract international arrivals, and there has also been an increase in the number of direct flights to Sri Lanka from various other countries in the Asia Pacific region, as well as discussions on an open sky policy to further drive air traffic to the country. There is also a new terminal in development at Colombo’s Bandaranike International Airport, which could increase the airport’s passenger capacity.

Through these efforts to help Sri Lanka’s tourism industry grow, the country’s hotel demand has increased 3.5% based on October 2016 year-to-date data. Supply, however, has also increased (+4.2%), with around 900 new rooms added to the market in the first ten months of the year.

Sri Lanka has reported a slight decline in occupancy (-0.7% to 66.3%), while average daily rate (ADR) rose 15.6% to LKR 15,854.99, resulting in double-digit revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth to LKR 10,512.93, a 14.8% increase.

Between January and October 2016, Sri Lanka’s daily performance data shows a declining compressed room nights distribution.

Occupancy levels hovered mainly in the 70-80% range, with a decline in the number of nights that saw high compression nights (80% plus). This shift in compression is likely due to the additional supply in the market.

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