Sri Lanka can cross 2 million visitor arrivals in 2015 – New SLTPB Chairman

By Ravi Ladduwahetty

Ceylon Finance Today: New Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Board, Athukorala, is confident that Sri Lanka is well poised to attain the elusive two million mark in 2015.

“Given the vibrancy of the private sector, the two million visitor arrivals can be achieved”. We are targeting the UK market to generate 190,000 arrivals from the current 144,168, Germany to be 150,000 from current 102,977, whilst France is to yield 100,000 visitors from the current 78,883, just to name a few. The economic instability in Russia is worrying, given that almost 69,718 tourists were generated from this market; but the rest of the world will do some catching up, which is our estimate, Athukorala told Ceylon FT, commenting on the challenges ahead.

Commenting on the regime change, Athukorala’s view was that the immediate challenge was to win back the confidence of the public sector and thereby unleash the talent of the public sector, which to his mind, was way above the private sector given that most of the employees in the government are first class honours graduates. What is required is strong leadership he said.

Respected marketer and business personality, Rohantha Athukorala who was the seventh Chairman of Sri Lanka Export Development Board and only Chairman to serve the EDB for over five years, being head of the institution supported the industry in taking the export revenue from US$ 6 billion dollars to US$ 11 billion during his tenure.

Being a Professional Marketer, Athukorala is a twice winner of the ‘Best Marketer’ Award in Sri Lanka when he was Marketing Manager for ‘Dettol Brand’ at British multinational Reckitt benckiser where he served for over 12 years before he went on to secure the ‘Best Global Project’ award for Sri Lanka in his five year tenure at the United Nations (UNOPS).

[ Via Ceylon Today ]

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