June 23, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has earned 399.3 million US dollars from tourism in the first five months of 2012, up 25.5 percent from the 318.1 million US dollars earned a year earlier, official data showed. Tourist arrivals rose 18.2 percent to 387.622 in the same period. Sri Lanka’s tourist sector has been booming since the end of a 30-year war in 2009.
The rupee value of tourist receipts rose 39.8 percent to 49.14 billion rupees, data released by the Central Bank showed. Sri Lanka’s currency fell steeply in the first quarter.
Tourist receipts (exports of tourism services) increase the spending power of domestic economic players and help generate a trade deficit along with remittances that come from exports of labour.
However tourism earnings do not expand what economists define as the current account of the balance of payments, as such revenues are also current receipts.
Terms such as the ‘merchandise trade account’ and ‘current account’ are arbitrary sections carved out of parts of the overall balance of payments, which is always in balance if the Central Bank does not sterilize its foreign exchange operations.