The tourism sector had been identified as a core-development area in post-conflict (civil war) development projects since 2009 and the highest number of tourist arrivals, since the civil war ended, was recorded in 2017.
The tourism sector which was badly hit as a direct result of the civil war, experienced a sharp rise in tourist arrivals over the past couple of years, since the 30 years long conflict came to an end and 2017 which was kind to Sri Lanka in terms of foreign investments, hit a welcome high of foreign arrivals. The trend saw the tourism sector contribute US$ 4.4 billion, in 2016 alone towards the country?s GDP, amounting to 5.1% of the total.
In 2017 the direct contribution the travel and tourism sector made towards the GDP, although not a sharp rise, was US$ 4.467.7 million contributing a 5.3% to the overall growth. The government is however on a fast-track project to increase foreign investor earning via the travel and tourism sector. A progression of 5.1% by end of 2018 is predicted, as per World Travel and Tourism Council reports 2018.