In October 2023, Sri Lanka's tourism industry has seen significant developments:
- The country has experienced a return to pre-pandemic visitor numbers, reaching 1 million by September and anticipating a total of 1.5 million for the year. This resurgence marks a triumphant chapter for the tourism industry in Sri Lanka.
- A new initiative has been introduced, offering a free visa on arrival for tourists from seven countries, which is expected to boost tourist arrivals by at least 10%.
- The total number of tourists welcomed by October was 109,199, bringing the total to 1.125 million. This was a slight decrease from September's figures but showed a significant year-on-year increase.
- Sri Lanka showcased its tourism sector at the 43rd edition of the World Tourism Market with a record participation from 76 companies, highlighting the importance of the UK market for the country's tourism industry.
- The year-on-year growth for October stood at 159.8%, with India being the largest source market for foreign tourists during this period.
- The country's Pekoe Trail won the British Guild of Travel Writers Tourism Award for the Best International Tourism project in the Wider World, a first for Sri Lanka, showcasing the recognition of its tourism projects on an international scale.
These milestones indicate a strong recovery and a promising future for Sri Lanka's tourism, which is vital for the country's economy.