Travel & Tour

Sri Lanka Tourism Development in Jeopardy Airfares to Sri Lanka the highest in the region

By Dr.Dietmar Doering Head of AGSEP RESEARCH

As if Covid-19 and the Corona Pandemic hasn’t done enough to prevent travelers to visit  Sri Lanka, the exorbitant high Airfares from Europe to the Island are just contributing the  balance part to bring Sri Lanka Tourism to a near total collapse. The AGSEP RESEARCH  INSTITUTE in a recent survey identified, that Sri Lanka remains to be the most expensive  destination – airfares concerned – even though destinations like Bangkok and Kuala  Lumpur are 300 and 1100 nautical miles further distanced than Colombo.  



Since over 50% of all travelers to Sri Lanka generated from European destinations it  becomes clear, that Sri Lanka had been sidelined and neighboring countries such as  Thailand, Malaysia, Maldives and Vietnam taking advantage of the big airfare gaps. The  more affluent and well-established tourists from Europe and other parts of the world  might not feel the airfare difference too much, but especially the first-time travelers are  virtually diverted to other destinations than Sri Lanka. 

Looking into the future of Sri Lanka Tourism Developments there should be a special  interest and effort put on the young travelers’ segments even to the extent to offer special  incentives on airfare to attract young travelers, Students and job starters for Sri Lanka. It  should be an important task for the SLTDA to focus on the exorbitant airfare and to find  ways and methods to intervene into this malicious practice. Sri Lanka’s entire tourism  industry is virtually blocked out, when Airfares making Sri Lanka a destination which  becomes simply un-attractive due to high air fares. The vast majority of the Tourist  Industry in Sri Lanka is within the SM enterprises which are highly dependent on social  media marketing efforts. Their very competitive room rates cannot balance the tumbling  block of high airfares. It is even equally important to get the National Carrier Sri Lankan  Airlines to re-start regular charter flights to major European Cities. Its up to the SLTDA  now to look into the matter for the benefit of thousands of businesses and jobs related to  Sri Lanka Tourism. DD

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