Strong consensus among the visitors of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Tour in Stockholm on Wednesday night, Sri Lanka is growing strongly as a new destination among Swedes. All travel agents on sight made the same note. More and more customers and companies ask for Sri Lanka as a destination, for whatever reason. So far this year the number of arrivals from Sweden in Sri Lanka increased by almost 30 percent for the first eight months and judging by the interest that is reported from travel agencies and tour operators, this trend will not only increase but also reinforced. Especially after Fritidsresor (TUI) starts direct air traffic from Stockholm in December.
As the tourism map of Europe is being redrawn, new opportunities rise for destinations that are perceived as safe, warm, cultural, adventurous and rich in nature. This will give destinations like Sri Lanka opportunities well in hand. With a geographical location in the Indian Ocean between Thailand in the east, which is now a mature and partly overcrowded by tourists, and the oil-rich sandbox states in the west, where investment is at a record high but in many respects no natural experiences, Sri Lanka have the perfect spot.
Although the tourist map is being redrawn, the number of international travelers does not stop to increase. Disasters, wars, refugee flows, viruses may move our focus from old destinations but not our desire to travel. On the contrary, international tourism increased at the same rate as previously and consolidates its position as one of the worlds largest industries and also as one of the fastest growing. Sri Lanka has a momentum as one of the destinations that are growing most rapidly, not only in Asia but in the world. And on top of this, the growth of Swedes traveling to Sri Lanka outnumbers the majority of other markets.
Sri Lanka no new destination for Swedes
Sri Lanka is far from a new destination from Sweden but it was a while since we could travel there with a direct flight and it was even longer ago that we visited Sri Lanka to the same extent as today. Sri Lanka was the first charter destination from Sweden that went beyond Europe. Today I meet hoteliers and incoming agencies who remember Swedes visiting Sri Lanka in the 70s and 80s with joy and hopes that those days will return.
But virtually all tourism looks different today. Far more specialized and much stronger linked to the individual preferables than ever before. One company that really stood out on the event in Stockholm Wednesday evening was the travel company beachtravels.se. They are selling training camp trips for people interested in beachvolley or beachvolley elite groups. The specialization continues in the travel industry and also training trips are becoming more specialized to us as individuals and who we want to be identified with.
My predictions on Swedish travel market to Sri Lanka is that within 1-2 years new charter companies and/or airlines will offer direct service from several of the Nordic capitals and in several parts of the year today. Several agencies at the event with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Tour confirmed this outlook.
More and more Swedes are asking for Sri Lanka