The repeatedly battered tourism industry in the last three years is showing some recovery with the resurgence of global leisure travel and the focused efforts by the Lankan authorities and industry stakeholders to lure more travellers to the country.
According to earnings data compiled by the Central Bank, Sri Lanka has earned US$ 67.9 million from tourism in August, slightly below the US$ 85.1 million earned in July as arrivals saw some decline between the two months.
There was roughly a 10,000 slack in the arrivals in August compared to 47, 293 visitors in July.
But the industry is preparing for a stronger arrivals season.
Sri Lanka has become a relatively cheap travel destination for visitors after the country’s currency shed 80 percent of its value since March this year against the US dollar.
Things have calmed down significantly after massive social unrest in July and a number of European countries a couple of weeks ago relaxed travel advisories on Sri Lanka.
With revenues in August, the cumulative eight-month earnings from the tourism trade has risen to US$ 892.8 million compared to US$ 63.5 million in the same period last year when the pandemic continued to batter the industry in its second year.
The authorities could be hoping for at least US$ 1 billion from the tourism trade this year.
Such inflows, alongside worker remittances could help Sri Lanka to largely alleviate the worst of the effects of the economic crisis caused by the shortage of foreign currency.
The cumulative tourist arrivals crossed the half a million mark in the first two weeks of September.