Tourism and Leisure

Following the restoration of peace & stability in 2009, the Sri Lankan tourism industry has experienced a boom, both in tourist arrivals, and in revenue earned. Tourist arrivals numbered 2.3mn in 2018, with revenue of US$4.3bn being earned. This is projected to double to 4mn and US$7.0 respectively by 2020. The sector provides employment to almost 400,000 workers, and this is expected to grow with the attraction of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through the Board of Investment (BOI), which has led to the establishment of international brands such as the Shangri-La Group (Hong Kong/ Singapore), the ITC Group (India), Movenpick Hotels & Resort Management (Switzerland), and Marriott International.

Sri Lanka has received international acclaim and recognition as a premier tourist destination, being ranked as the top country for travel in 2019 by Lonely Planet. Likewise, it was selected as the world’s best island to travel in 2019 by the ‘Travel and Leisure’ website, and in 2017 was ranked by Bloomberg as one of the 20 ‘hottest luxury tourism destinations.’

Investment & Growth

As the third-largest foreign exchange earner for the Sri Lankan economy, Tourism is central to the prosperity of the economy as a whole. In consideration of this, the government has introduced initiatives to facilitate investment and growth in Tourism. Destinations including Kuchchaveli in the Trincomalee District, Passikudah on the Eastern coast, and Kalpitiya on the north-western coast have been identified for development.

The ongoing expansion of the expressway network, with the opening of the Katunayake Expressway connecting the Bandaranaike International Airport to Colombo, and the construction of an expressway to the hill-capital of Kandy, promise to greatly reduce travel times for tourists. The opening of Sri Lanka’s second international airport in the southern Province,Hambantota District, and the proposed redevelopment of several domestic airports provides flexibility and convenience to tourists. Alongside the national carrier SriLankan Airlines, domestic airlines provide seaplane connections from Colombo to several destinations within the country.

Furthermore, as of August 1, 2019, the Sri Lankan government has waived visa fees for international tourists from 48 countries. Consequently, travellers applying for 30-day Tourist Visas are no longer required to pay for their Visas. Thus, as an increasingly popular, internationally acclaimed tourist destination, Sri Lanka offers exciting and lucrative opportunities for investors.

Wellness Tourism
As an integral part of Sri Lanka’s National Export Strategy, the concept of Wellness Tourism focuses on providing international travellers with services focusing on mental & physical wellbeing. Services including Ayurveda Resorts, Spas, and Yoga Retreats form the core of the industry. Favourable global trends have made wellbeing a tourism buzzword, with travellers increasingly seek hotels with health services and facilities. Although Wellness Tourism remains a new concept, and a nascent industry, Sri Lankan traditions of Ayurveda and traditional medicine provide the sector a unique advantage, and the potential for immense growth.
Potential areas for investment
  • Tourist Accommodation & Services (Hotels / Resorts / Villas/ Higher-end restaurants)
  • Leisure & Recreational (Golf Course, Entertainment Complexes, Theme Parks, Tourist
  • Shopping Complexes, Eco-Lodges, Camping, Whale & Dolphin Watching, water Sports)
  • Adventure & Eco Tourism (Adventure parks)
  • Transportation (Yacht Marina, Coastal Ferry Services, Cruise Lines)
  • Skill Development: Hotel / Hospitality Training Institutes

More Information

Visit the following sites for more information:

Sri Lanka Tourism

Board of Investment

Sri Lanka Export Development Board

Contact Details

Board of Investment, Sri Lanka

General Contact Information

Address Telephone Email Fax
Level 24, West Tower, World Trade Centre, Colombo 01 +94-11-2434403
+94-11-2346131 +94-11-2448105


Contact Person & Designation Telephone Email Fax
Office of the Chairman +94-11-2427002 +94-11-2447995
Office of the Director General +94-11-2448105 +94-11-2448105
Mr. Vidharshan Fernando – Exceutive Director +94 11 2477050 (0000)
+94 77 7734738
M.H. Casseer – Deputy Director (Country Desk for Australia & New Zealand) +94 11 2427122 (7122)
+94 77 7776779
Mr. Gamini Jayatilake–Director (Tourism, Agriculture & Knowledge Services) +94-11-2346341
Mr.Prasanjith Wijayatilake – Executive Director (Investment Promotion) +94 11 2335394 (7076)
+94 77 2801300
Ms.Nilupul de Silva – Director (Investment Promotion) +94 11 2346345 (7042)
+94 77 7915480
Mr.Mahinda Ramanayake – Executive Director (Investor Services) +94 11 2331911 (7432)
+94 77 3043241
Mr.Ananda Rajakaruna – Director (Investor Services) +94 11 2342401 (7430)
+94 77 7805772

Sri Lanka Export Development Board

General Contact Information

Address Telephone Email Fax
42, Nawam Mawatha, Colombo 01 +94-11-2300705/11 +94-11-2300715


Contact Person & Designation Telephone Email
Mrs. Indira Malwatte – Chairperson & Chief Executive +94-11-2300712
Mrs. Jeevani Siriwardena – Director General +94-11-2300675
Ms. K. Irugalbandara– Assistant Director(Construction, Wellness Tourism, Logistics) +94-11-2300705/11 (234)

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau(SLTPB) & Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA)

Contact Person & Designation Telephone Fax Email
Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) AND Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) +94-11-2426900 +94-11-2440001
Chairman’s Office (SLTPB) +94-11-2437759 +94-11-2437753
Chairman’s Office (SLTDA) +94-11-2426900 (105) +94-11-2437953
Managing Director’s Office +94-11-2426900 (267)
Director General’s Office +94-11-2426916


Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB)

General Contact Information
Address Telephone Email Fax
4th floor, Hotel School building,
No.78, Galle road
Sri Lanka
+94114865050 +94112472985


Contact Person & Designation Email
Mr.Kumar De Silva – Chairman
Mr.Krishantha Fernando

Last modified on 10/02/2020

Visa Notice

The Immigration and Emigration Department of Sri Lanka has shifted from its Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) visa program to the New eVisa scheme, with effect from April 17, 2024. The ETA website was disconnected on April 16, 2024.
Accordingly, all eligible nationalities planning to enter Sri Lanka via air or sea, for the purpose of tourism, business and transit, should visit the "Official Sri Lanka eVisa Website" through the weblink to apply for their online visa to Sri Lanka.
The Official Sri Lanka eVisa Website, is the only authorized website of the Department of Immigration and Emigration of Sri Lanka from April 17,2024, 00:00 hrs.