SL targets 4.2 mn arrivals by 2020  

Minister Amarathunga addressing the event. Picture by Dushmantha Mayadunne

Tourism Hotel Investment and Investment Conference 2016 kiked started on February 10, 2016 and would continue till February 11 at the Galle Face hotel. Among the many aspects brought out in the conference, it was impressed upon that Sri Lanka with all it has to offer should try to bring in more brands into the country. Managing Director India and regional VP south Asia, Star wood Hotels and resorts stated that bringing in more branded hotels into the country will automatically increase the desirability of the country and create a suitable environment to reach an upper-end market.

It was mentioned in the presentations carried out throughout the conference that Sri Lanka hopes to reach a target 4.2 million tourist arrivals into the country by the year 2020 which would bring in around 200 new hotels and an addition of 11,000 rooms to the hotel industry. Minister of Tourism Development, John Amarathunga said that by the year 2020 the tourism sector will be employ over 640, 000. While the total contribution of travel tourism to the country’s GDP is forecasted to elevate itself by 6.1% to 10.5%of GDP by the year 2026.

Speaking at the inaugural session, Chairman MRICS, Manav Thadani said that although Sri Lanka is known as a leisure destination and around 86% of the tourists arriving at the country are leisure bound, it is Business travel which is around 13 % that shows a growing trend.

The conference represents a mix of fourteen countries out of the total of 170 participants.

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