Business Monitor International

Sri Lanka Tourism Report

Published 22 January 2014

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Sri Lanka Tourism Report

BMI View: We believe that the recent weakness in the Sri Lanka rupee is both a blessing and a curse for Sri Lanka's booming tourism industry. With the rupee now at the cheapest it has ever been against the euro, we expect to see an increase in arrivals from the bloc, which remains the island's top tourist market. That said, the downside of a much weaker rupee is that the cost of major tourism-related infrastructure developments is likely to face some upside pressure.

Beyond the current year, BMI believes arrivals to Sri Lanka will grow at a strong annual rate of at least 10% per annum. BMI's tourist arrival forecasts remain dependent on a peaceful security situation. Despite the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA)'s electoral defeat in the Northern Province's recent elections, the Rajapaksa regime's success in holding largely peaceful elections in a majority-Tamil area should help in deflecting international pressure and criticism off of Colombo to enhance reconciliation efforts following the recent end of the country's decades-long civil war.

Any recurrence of civil conflict, which we think is unlikely, would pose a clear downside risk to our forecasts. That said, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA)'s strong performance in provincial council elections in September 2013 may raise tensions in the domestic political scene as the Tamil minority's interests are further emboldened, clashing directly with the Sinhalese-dominated national government's agenda. The September polls clearly showed that economic advancement in Tamil-dominated areas (brought on by massive infrastructure development by Colombo with the help of Beijing) is not enough to sway the minority population's camp into Rajapaksa's support base. The government has accused the TNA of fuelling calls for a separate Tamil state, while the latter has sought devolution of power in a united Sri Lanka, which, for the alliance, entails the end of the army's occupation in the north. This could...

The Sri Lanka Tourism Report has been researched at source and features Business Monitor International (BMI)'s independent assessment and forecasts for tourist expenditure; government expenditure on tourism; passenger arrivals and departures by mode of transport, reason for travel, origin and destination; and the accommodation market.

BMI's Sri Lanka Tourism Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the Sri Lankan tourism industry.

Key Benefits

  • Benchmark BMI's independent tourism industry forecasts for Sri Lanka to test other views - a key input for successful budgetary and planning in the Sri Lankan tourism market.
  • Target business opportunities and risks in the Sri Lankan tourism sector through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments in Sri Lanka.
  • Assess the activities, strategy and market position of your competitors, partners and clients via our Company Profiles (inc. KPIs and latest activity).


BMI Industry View

This contains a synopsis of our forecasts, and any changes, together with an overview of key trends and developments in the tourism industry, and an assessment of the impact of various economic and national factors which might affect the sector. It also covers new transport projects, new hotel developments, and acquisitions.

Industry SWOT Analysis

Analysis of the major Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats within the tourism sector and within the broader political, economic and business environment.

BMI Industry Forecast Scenario

Forecasts to end-2018 for all key indicators (see list below), supported by explicit assumptions, plus analysis of key downside risks to the main forecasts:

Inbound tourism: Arrivals (‘000), arrivals growth (% y-o-y), arrivals by region, growth (% y-o-y), arrivals by country, growth (% y-o-y), top 10 countries based on arrivals, growth (% y-o-y).

Outbound tourism: Departures (‘000), growth (% y-o-y), departures by regional destination (‘000 and growth % y-o-y).

Travel: Methods of travel for arrivals (Air, Ship, Rail), (‘000) and (% growth y-o-y), international Tourism receipts for transport (US$bn), (growth % y-o-y), international Tourism receipts for travel items (US$bn), (growth % y-o-y).

Hotels: Hotel industry value (US$bn), (growth % y-o-y), (%GDP), (per capita), (per employee), number of hotels and like establishments (‘000), (growth % y-o-y), total overnight stays, (‘000), (growth % y-o-y), length of stay, occupancy rate (%), number of hotel rooms, (‘000), (growth % y-o-y).

Industry Risk Reward Rankings

BMI’s Tourism Industry Risk Reward Rankings provide a country-comparative Risk Reward Rankings index aimed at investors (tour operators, tourism infrastructure investors, financial institutions) in the regional tourism market.

The rankings methodology makes sophisticated use of over 40 industry, economic and demographic data points.

We also have Security Risk Reward Rankings which provide a detailed assessment of possible threats to the country (and by extenuation to the tourism industry), ranging from economic and political upheaval, to terrorist attacks and organised crime levels.

Market Overview

This contains a comprehensive overview of the tourism industry in the country, its overall value, the value of its hotels industry, trends in the hotels industry and any new developments. It also contains an evaluation of the top 10 global hotel groups’ presence in the country, which brands are present in which cities, the number of hotels and any planned developments and strategies. The Market Overview also considers the tourism infrastructure developments in the country, in particular transport infrastructure projects such as ports and airports. Tables are also included from our regularly updated Key Projects Database, which contain details of projects, their value, the time frame, their current status, the companies involved and their estimated completion dates.

Company Profiles

Examines the competitive positioning and short- to medium-term business strategies of key industry players. Strategy is examined within the context of BMI’s industry forecasts, our macroeconomic views and our understanding of the wider competitive landscape.

The latest financial and operating statistics and key company developments are also incorporated within the company profiles, enabling a full evaluation of recent company performance and future growth prospects.

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'An essential, multi-faceted research tool. BMI’s thorough understanding of the major market players enables an informed – and informative – review of the sector’s actual performance, together with useful insights into current industry issues, which are topped-off with detailed and invaluable forecasts of industry and macroeconomic trends.’

Senior Research Analyst, ABC International Bank plc