Destinations

All the latest deets and updates you need to sell Sri Lanka

With overseas travel restrictions slowly easing, it’s time to get up to date on the latest updates and restrictions from popular destinations around the globe.

Before the global pandemic, Sri Lanka was rapidly gaining popularity among Aussie travellers.

In 2018, the island recorded its highest-ever number of arrivals, with over 2.3 million tourists choosing to holiday in Sri Lanka.

The same year, the sector earned around $4.3 billion, 11 per cent more than the previous year.

Even before the island introduced relaxed, bubble-free entry requirements for fully-vaccinated travellers at the start of October, tourists numbers began taking off again at speed.

We had a chat with Sri Lanka’s Tourism Promotion Bureau to get the latest details you need to sell this dreamy destination.

Sri Lanka’s famous nine arch bridge (image source: iStock/lncreativemedia)

Travel Weekly: What restrictions are in place for international travellers entering Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka’s Tourism Promotion Bureau: To holiday in Sri Lanka, tourists need to prove they have been vaccinated with the recommended dose of any COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before arrival, as well as a negative COVID-19 PCR Report within 72 hours of embarkation.

Unvaccinated children below the age of 12 are allowed entry into the country; however, parents will need to pay upon arrival for a PCR test for unvaccinated children aged 12-18 years.

Non- and partially-vaccinated travellers have also the opportunity to travel within the country’s ‘safety bubble’.

TW: What can travellers expect from Sri Lanka as a destination once travel is safe again?

SLTPB: As a destination, Sri Lanka offers travellers everything from pristine beaches to untamed wilderness; the highest concentration of waterfalls in the world, misty mountains, and an inexhaustible list of natural wonders. All this is swaddled in a rich and diverse culture, with a riveting history that adds to the island’s allure.

Not to mention our range of water-based activities, tea tourism, wellness tourism, culture, heritage, cuisine, ancient traditions, national parks, wildlife and our people.

Traditional stilt fishing near Koggala (image source: iStock/Andrey Danilovich)

The fact that a traveller can experience all this in one compact island is unique, and this cannot be found anywhere else in the World.

We have also recently introduced long-term visa for digital nomads, to promote a “work from your own tropical paradise” concept.

TW: Has the tourism industry seen any bounce back or regrowth so far? 

SLTPB: With the relaxing of protocols for fully vaccinated arrivals into the country month on month, we are seeing an increase in our arrivals, with September recording 13,547 tourist arrivals into the country, the highest number since the pandemic began.

That’s a 167 per cent increase compared with August.

TW: What about COVID-19 case numbers?

SLTPB: With close to 60 per cent of its population fully vaccinated, the island has seen a reduction in case numbers which has resulted in the country being fully operational.

As with all other countries around the world, at times there are emergency healthy protocols that are implemented to ensure the safety of the people; however, most areas of the economy are fully operational.

TW: Is Sri Lanka a good option for travellers who would like to ease back into overseas travel? 

SLTPB: Sri Lanka is perfectly positioned to attract the post-COVID traveller with its wide-open spaces and a multitude of nature-based experiences.

Elephant at Yala National Park (image source: iStock.com/SolStock)

With the many lockdowns throughout the world due to the pandemic, people have been restless and when the opportunity arises for travel, recent research shows that the trend is to travel big.

Travellers are gravitating more towards that ‘big idea’ or ‘bucket list’ trip while maybe doing fewer trips per year. However, when they do travel, they will invest the time and money in long-haul travel and staying in one destination for longer periods of time.

Sri Lanka Tourism also recognises that wellness tourism is a growing market with huge potential, and we are working to position the island to cater to the demand of this high yielding segment.

TW: What do travel agents need to know to effectively sell Sri Lanka as a destination?

SLTPB: Post-COVID travellers are looking for places to explore and re-connect with themselves and nature.

Sri Lanka, blessed with abundant flora and fauna, wildlife, serene beaches, friendly people, amazing food and authentic experiences, will offer everything and more to the traveller seeking peace and a sense of freedom.

The island has emerged as a destination for travellers who have a desire to look beyond the superficial elements and explore an authentic experience-driven route. Accommodation ranges from the larger chain hotels, luxury boutique, and villa properties to tented safari camps and colonial mountain escapes.

Sri Lanka is open and eager to welcome back visitors, and the easing of entry protocols makes it the perfect getaway destination.


Featured image source: iStock/hadynyah



SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Hotels

Airbnb leaves China amid ongoing lockdowns

Like a soon to be ex-wife that complains about her husband never leaving the house, Airbnb is leaving the reclusive Chinese market.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Scoot launches flights to South Korea’s ‘Hawaii of East Asia’

Want a Hawaiian holiday but got yourself banned on your last trip? Here’s the next best thing.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Register for duo, Air New Zealand’s new training and engagement hub and be in the draw to win some epic prizes

Air New Zealand launched its new training and engagement hub called duo, with training, campaigns, incentives the latest brand updates, plus more.

Share

CommentComments

News

Samoa finally announces border re-opening!

The Pacific Island paradise has been working hard to get travel ready and will soon welcome Aussies back to its sunny shores!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“Heroic” flight attendant comes to the rescue as woman gives birth on Frontier Airlines flight

We here at Travel Weekly think this woman deserves a raise, or at least an honorary midwifery degree.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Are you a ‘local legend’? Bonza is on the lookout for 17 ambassadors!

We feel as though a local legend could either be a dedicated charity worker in the community or someone who frequently drinks beer out of a shoe!

Share

CommentComments

Events

Travel DAZE speaker Matt Endycott from nib chats all things travel! Get your tickets now!

We’ve got Matt Endycott – one of our exciting speakers – to share his thoughts on the industry. Come to Travel DAZE to hear Matt discuss all things travel!

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Midweek Catch-up with TRAVLR’s Roann Roberts

We love an alliterative name, all the best superheroes and villains have them. We’re not sure where TRAVLR’s head of global travel product sits on that spectrum, though.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas relaunches Perth-London route, ramps up trans-tasman flights, secures majority stake in TripADeal

Flights resuming to NZ mean that it will be much easier for the all blacks to come over and quickly beat Australia over and over again.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Qatar hotels warned by Fifa over LGBTQ+ discrimination

World Cup controversy has already kicked off before the first match has begun! It’s clear Fifa is taking some lessons from the Australian Open.

Share

CommentComments

News

Japan and Thailand to further ease travel restrictions from 1 June

We thought a nice photo of cherry blossoms in full bloom at Himeji-Jo Castle would be a lot nicer than of some guy getting a swab shoved up his nose for the story.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Star Entertainment Group appoints new interim chairman and CEO

Similarly, we’ve appointed our office dog as the new chief zoomies officer, which is a big improvement on her previous role as VP of weeing in the hallway.

Share

CommentComments