The Survey on Departing Foreign Tourists

Tourism is one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors of the global economy, contributing significantly to the economies of both developed and developing countries. Sri Lanka too continues to reap the benefits of a growing tourism industry over the last decade. In order to continue with future success and to drive Sri Lanka’s tourism sector sustainably, it is crucial to better understand the travel patterns of international tourists visiting Sri Lanka.

The Research and International Relations Division of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) conducts an annual Airport Survey of Departing Foreign Tourists from Sri Lanka. Findings of the survey are important for private and public sector stakeholders in the tourism industry to take decisions with respect to planning, promotion and marketing. Further, survey findings provide insights to drive sustainable tourism development in Sri Lanka.

welcome background image

1.1      Objectives

Overall objectives are as follow

  • To build a detailed profile of departing foreign tourists from Sri Lanka 

  • To enrich tourism statistics with additional information from both qualitative and quantitative data

  • To identify the factors influencing present and potential tourist arrivals; and

  • To make information readily available to the public and private sectors for strategic decision-making.


1.2      Specific objectives

The specific objectives of the survey are as follows


  • To analyze the personal and demographic data of foreign tourists who visited Sri Lanka during the period of January to December 2018.

  • To identify the purpose of tourists’ visits to Sri Lanka and reasons behind Sri Lanka becoming a tourist destination of choice.

  • To identify the travel behavior patterns, tourists’ expenditure patterns and overall experience of tourists visiting Sri Lanka.

  • To recognize the places of tourist attractions and sources of information that influenced their visit.

  • To understand the perceptions tourists have of Sri Lanka and to assess whether their expectations have been met.

  • To identify the facilities used by the tourists during their stay in Sri Lanka.

  • To gather opinions, comments and impressions expressed by foreign tourists for future planning of the industry.