Sri Lanka could boost Indian tourists 6-fold over decade: equities report

Aug 30, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka could attract 750,000 tourists from India over the next decade, or six fold if Sri Lanka can capture just 2.4 percent of that country’s outbound market, an equities research report said. Even if Sri Lanka maintains its current market share of 1.4 percent, the island could attract 440,000 Indians in 10 years, an equities research report by Capital Alliance, a Colombo broking house has said.

The report projects, this year’s arrivals to grow to 187,000, up from 127,000 last year as the country’s total arrivals are expected to top 900,000 from last year’s 650,000.

Arrivals from India started to boom before the end of the war after Sri Lanka scrapped pre-approved visa’s for Indians, becoming the country’s top generating market.

But Sri Lanka is set to re-impose pre-approved visas for all countries on a reciprocal basis indicating that only Singaporeans and Maldivians would get on-arrival visas in the future.

Authorities however have promised a hassle free online visa approval process.

If the process is easy, it may not make a difference of more than 150,000 tourists a year, a Capital Alliance official said.

The report projects 2.6 million arrivals by 2020 from