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Country Overview


Important Factors


• Population : 20.33 Million (2012)
• GDP: US$ 59.42 Billion (2012)
• Main Languages Spoken: Sinhala, Tamil, English
• Literacy Rate: 94.2% (2011)
• Currency: Sri Lankan rupee (See conversion rates)


History
• One of the ancient civilizations in the world dating back 30,000 plus years according to archeological evidence found
• Has a documented history of over 2500 years
• The ancient City of Anuradhapura has all evidence of a great civilization dating back 2500+ years
• Ruled by Portuguese, Dutch, and British from 1600s till 1948
• Gained independence by the British on February 4th 1948

Society
• A multi ethnic, multi religion, multi cultural society
• Main Ethnicities: Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim
• Main Religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Muslim
• Has a well educated, literate population. Highest literacy rate in South Asia

Geography
• Strategically located on the Indian Ocean
• Part of the Ancient Silk Route. Sri Lanka was considered “The Gateway” between the east and the west.
• Approximately 65,000 square kilometers land area

Economy
• GDP of US$ 59.42 Billion (2012) and GDP growth rate of over 6% (2012)
• Recently graduated to “Middle Income” country category
• Most liberalized economy in the South Asia

Government
• Democratically elected government with head of government being the executive President
• Current government holds two thirds voting power in the parliament
• Strong stable leadership under the current president His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Investment Potential

The tourism & leisure industry is vital to the economic well-being of Sri Lanka and the Government of Sri Lanka recognize tourism as an essential activity for the economic and social development of the country. Accordingly, tourism is accorded a high priority in its overall programme of national development. Tourism development in Sri Lanka is based on the national attributes and inherited natural and socio-cultural attractions of the country. The coastal environment, remains of the ancient civilization in the historic cities, natural beauty of the hill country, and the warmth of the people of Sri Lanka can be considered as cornerstones of tourism attractions. During the last 3 to 4 decades Sri Lanka has been popular among the tourists as a destination where sunshine and beautiful beaches are found in abundance.

With the end of the civil war and the dawn of peace, His Excellency the president in June 2009 declared

• Year 2011 to be : Visit Sri Lanka Year”
• Government of Sri Lanka to target 2.5 Million Tourist Arrivals by Year 2016

The Government has set a target of attracting 2.5 Mn high spending tourists by the year 2016.The 5 year master plan prepared by the Ministry of Economic Development under the guidance of the Hon. Minister of Economic Development for the period of 2011 – 2016 addresses a range of issues related to Sri Lanka Tourism Strategy including environmental, social, cultural, economic, institutional and promotional aspects together with their mutual relations with the National Development agenda, in order to create a favorable platform to achieve targeted tourist turnover by 2016.

Following Key objectives to be achieved through the 5 year tourism development strategy in Sri Lanka:

1. Increase tourist arrivals from 650,000 in 2010 to 2.5 Mn by 2016.

2. Attract USD 3,000 Mn as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the country within 5 years.

3. Increase the tourism related employment from 125,000 in 2010 to 500,000 by 2016 and expand tourism based industry and services all island.

4. Distribute the economic benefits of tourism to a larger cross section of the society and Integrate tourism to the real economy.

5. Increase the foreign exchange earnings from USD 500 Mn in 2010 to USD 2.75 Bn by 2016.

6. Contribute towards improving the global trade and economic linkages of Sri Lanka.

7. Position Sri Lanka as the world’s most treasured island for tourist

 

Tourist Arrivals 2012/2013

The current scenario of tourist arrivals is positive. Peace is like an oxygen to growth, “Tourist arrivals has already climbed in 2013 with an annual growth rate of 26.7 percentage over year 2013.

 

Breaking of Hotel Room Capacity needed in 2016

Education & Human Capital

Education in Sri Lanka has a long history which dates back two millennia and the Constitution of Sri Lanka provide for education as a fundamental right. The Sri Lanka’s population has a literacy rate of 92%, higher than that expected for a third world country; it has the highest literacy rate in South Asia and overall, one of the highest literacy rates in Asia.

Education plays a major part in the life and culture of the country and dates back to 543 BC. The Modern education system was brought about with the integration of Sri Lanka in to the British Empire in the 19th century and it falls under the control of both the Central Government and the Provincial Councils, with some responsibilities lying with the Central Government and the Provincial Council having autonomy for others.

Educated and Adaptable Workforce

• In 2009, Sri Lanka possessed most literate population in South Asia and one of highest in developing world with literacy rate of 91.4% (90% and 93% respectively, for females and males)
• Extensive investment in public education has produced competent, trainable workforce, comfortable with high tech production and services
• Approximately 50% of tertiary students are trained in technical and business disciplines
• Literacy Rate: 94.2% (2011)
• English is widely spoken and is main language used by business community