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Sri Lanka banks on India to aid tourism recovery, calls for borderless BIMSTEC travel

Sri Lanka is counting on tourists from India, its primary source market, to boost foreign exchange earnings and aid economic recovery, as the island expects fewer tourists from Europe amid the ongoing recession.

Sri Lanka is banking on its primary tourism source market, India to aid recovery and boost foreign exchange earnings. The island nation hosted the 67th TAAI Convention, and addressing the press its President Ranil Wickremesinghe said tourism would emerge Sri Lanka’s chief foreign exchange earning sector in the next decade. he asked “Why don’t we make our whole BIMSTEC area one borderless tourist area?”, pointing to the scope in the region to showcase diverse sites and cuisines.

India has consistently topped Sri Lanka’s tourist arrival charts in recent years, including during the time of COVID-19 and later, during the island nation’s economic crisis. During its 2022 political crisis, authorities recorded as many as 1,23,004 tourists from India, or 24 % of the total arrivals, followed by Russia and the United Kingdom.

In the wake of global recession, India and China are “low hanging fruits”, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman Chalaka Gajabahu earlier told reporters. “The focus on India and strategic partnerships between the two countries is therefore vital in ensuring a successful recovery for Sri Lanka’s tourism industry,” he said.



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