Sri Lanka Tourism is intensifying its promotional efforts to attract Indian tourists, showcasing the island’s diverse travel opportunities in Kolkata, a significant target market. On July 10, 2024, an exclusive networking event will be held on a cruise along the Ganges River. This event will bring together Kolkata’s travel agents, industry leaders, and media with a prominent delegation, including the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, and about 30 Destination Management Companies from Sri Lanka specializing in Leisure and MICE, along with top hotels, resorts, homestays, and tour operators.


Diverse Attractions and Accessibility

Sri Lanka offers a wide range of experiences, from rich cultural heritage and exquisite cuisine to diverse wildlife. The island’s attractions are made more accessible by continuous improvements in the public transport system, including trains, buses, coaches, and tuk-tuks, catering to various price points and making it easier for tourists to explore every corner of the island.


Strengthening Sri Lanka-India Tourism Relations

The primary goal of these promotional efforts is to strengthen the relationship between Sri Lanka and India, creating mutually beneficial partnerships in the tourism sector. The increasing number of Indian visitors to Sri Lanka highlights the success of these initiatives, with 198,161 Indian tourists visiting from January to early July 2024 alone.

In June 2024, Sri Lanka organized several B2B roadshows and networking events in Indore, Vadodara, and Surat to bolster its brand presence in India. These events aimed to attract more tourists from Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, marketing Sri Lanka as a year-round destination. Such initiatives continually strengthen the connection between the two countries, showcasing Sri Lanka’s varied attractions and ongoing tourism progress.


Economic Impact and Government Support

The Honorable Minister of Tourism, Mr. Harin Fernando, expressed gratitude towards India for its continued support in developing Sri Lanka’s tourism sector. He emphasized the nation’s advancements as a middle-income country with strong economic indicators. In 2023, tourism revenues exceeded $2 billion, and by April 2024, they had already surpassed $1.25 billion. With a target to attract 2.5 million tourists by the end of 2024, Sri Lanka launched a global marketing campaign titled “You’ll Come Back for More” and has been actively promoting its attractions at major international travel shows and conducting roadshows in key cities worldwide. Additionally, the extension of visa-free entry for Indian tourists is expected to further boost visitor numbers.


Expanding Tourism Offerings

Mr. Chalaka D. Gajabahu, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, highlighted the importance of tourism as the island’s third-largest revenue source. He noted the expansion of the sector beyond beach tourism to include sports, culture, spirituality, and history. Efforts to enhance Sri Lanka’s profile as a preferred MICE destination have also been successful, with the third MICE expo in May 2024 drawing 100 international buyers and 113 local suppliers. These ongoing initiatives aim to elevate Sri Lanka’s status in the global tourism industry, ensuring it remains a top destination for diverse travel experiences.



Sri Lanka's focused efforts to attract Indian tourists through exclusive events and strategic marketing are set to strengthen tourism ties between the two countries. With a plethora of attractions and improved accessibility, Sri Lanka promises a rich and diverse travel experience, appealing to a broad spectrum of travelers.