World Tourism Day to attract big spenders from US, UK, France, Australia

4 billion dollars in earnings by end 2019


At the head table Upali Ratnayake, Johanne Jayaratne, Minister John Amaratunga, Kishu Gomes, Prof Suranga de Silva.

By Steve A. Morrell

World Tourism Day coinciding with World Surf League in Arugambay will enhance the growing salutary image of Sri Lanka. September 27, identified the world over as World Tourism Day, would include celebrations in Colombo and Arugambay.

Arugambay, considered a growing surfer’s location gained international acclaim that enticed surfers to spend time in this Eastern Sri Lankan sea location, the selected venue to hold World Surf League, attracting some 125 competitors from about 30 countries.

An International Security Audit was conducted by the world tourism body, to ensure there were no security risks. On their approval the World Surf League agreed that at Arumbay the surfer competition could be held.

Chairman SLTPB Kishu Gomes confirmed that 90 percent of those competing were from traditional European countries. Also included in the list were the US, UK, France, Australia, Canada, that added substantial glamour to the event. Such countries were identified as ‘big spenders’ spending over 1000 $ per person each day.

Minister John Amaratunga said at the press conference this week to celebrate this event a sum of about 16 million rupees was allocated to ensure its success. He also said, to end September this year 1.3 million tourist arrivals were recorded. Considering the established safe security position in the country, and the on set of the tourist season commencing on or about October, tourist arrivals would increase. Expected earnings would exceed 4 billion dollars.

DG, SLTDA Upali Ratnayake said that annually about 1.5 billion tourists traveled to most tourist destinations world wide. Sri Lanka was one such destination. Earnings from tourism exceeded one trillion dollars each year globally.

He also said Sri Lanka’s growing reputation as a tourist destination would hold the prospect of tourism to grow to an accepted figure of 4 million arrivals each year.

World Tourism Day to be held at the BMICH, would include food festivals, inclusive of beverage exhibitions that would also project the hotel industry and its varied visitor attractions, particularly beach resorts, national parks, hill country topography and its spectacular terrain with allied attractions.

Chairman SLTDA Johanne Jayaratne, added that the hotel industry attracts 500,000 jobs each year and the country would be adequately equipped to meet the expected influx of arrivals. More so that such hotel employees would be well trained and would personify the country’s image of courtesy and friendliness.

Professor Suranga de Silva also spoke.

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