A silver lining may be emerging for Sri Lanka’s tourism industry as European holidaymakers look for alternative destinations avoiding coronavirus-hit East and South-East Asian regions while the industry braces for a major decline in tourist arrivals from key Asia-Pacific markets such as China.
“The demand is growing from Europe. It will definitely come to Sri Lanka. Most of the airlines that offer connectivity to Colombo from European destinations are operating at near full capacity now,” a leading airline representative told Mirror Business.
He noted that if Sri Lanka is successful in capitalizing on this trend, it could considerably narrow the impact from the decline in tourist arrivals from coronavirus-hit regions to the country.
According to Airport & Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited, the carriers which offer connectivity to Europe are operating at over 90 percent capacity now, up from 80 percent recorded in January.
Europe accounted for 44 percent of tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka in 2019 driven by growth in tourist arrivals from Eastern European source markets such as Russia.
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