07, Aug, 2020

Tourist Arrivals and Foreign Remittances Struck by Covid-19 in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry and foreign remittances were severely affected from March 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic.With the termination of all passenger flights and ships to Sri Lanka, there was a cessation of tourist arrivals from the third week of March 2020, resulting in zero tourist arrivals since April up to last month, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority revealed.

The total number of international tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka from January to June 2020 was 507,311.

No tourist arrivals have been recorded for the month of June 2020 due to the termination of all passenger flights and ship arrivals into Sri Lanka from 18th March 2020.

Total arrivals recorded from January to June 2019 were 1,008,449. In comparison to January to June last year (2019), a decline of 49.7% has been recorded for the same period in 2020.

The largest source markets recorded for the period from January to June was India, followed by the United Kingdom and Russian Federation, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority said.

Meanwhile, workers’ remittances declined to a low level year on year, amounting to US dollars 432 million on May this year.

There was a notable number of returnees from countries such as South Korea and Italy, prior to the closure of the airports in March 2020.

This was further exacerbated by lower crude oil prices impacting Middle Eastern economies, where a majority of Sri Lankan migrant workers are employed.

On a cumulative basis, workers’ remittances recorded a decline of 11.9  % during the first five months of 2020, in comparison to the corresponding period of 2019.

No tourist arrival was recorded in May 2020 with the suspension of all passenger flights and ship movements to Sri Lanka from mid-March 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID19, and cumulative tourist arrivals remained at 507,311 during the first five months of 2020, compared to 945,377 arrivals recorded during the corresponding period in 2019.

Accordingly, cumulative earnings from tourism, which are estimated based on tourist arrivals, remained at US dollars 956 million during the first five months of 2020, recording a drop of 46.3 per cent from the corresponding period of 2019.

Meanwhile, workers’ remittances declined by 23.2 per cent in May 2020, year-on-year, to US dollars 432 million.

On a cumulative basis, workers’ remittances recorded a decline of 11.9 per cent to US dollars 2,407 million during the first five months of 2020, in comparison to the corresponding period of 2019.lankanewsweb.net

Source: Travel Voice

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