Public Holidays in Sri Lanka

Which Nationalities visit Sri Lanka the most?

Which Nationalities visit Sri Lanka the most?

Tourists visit Sri Lanka from all parts of the world to explore the fascinating variety of sights, activities and culture the country has to offer. The Island has years if experience welcoming guests from all different parts of the Worlds. It’s interesting to know which Nationalities visit Sri Lanka the most so you know what other tourists you may meet in the country.

Sri Lanka Tourist Statistics

The Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority issues annual, monthly and weekly statistics which breakdown the numbers of arrivals and country of origin.
There is comparison figures, month to month and year to year, however you must take into account that there have been external and internal factors that have affected tourist arrivals.

The global pandemic effectively closed the country to tourists and it took some months before Sri Lanka was off the red list for travel. There was also a lag before a more normal number of flights started arriving on the Island. In our experience flights really only started bringing a number of tourists in November 2021. 

There was also effectively a halt in tourist numbers arriving in the country from late April 2022 until effectively November 2022 due to the government protests. The protests took place between 31 March and July 2022 as a result of the price of basic goods rising and food and fuel shortages.

Foreign Office warnings against travelling to Sri Lanka started to be lifted in August 2022 forward as the country started to settle down again after a change in government.

Flights from Russia started in September 2022 and other carriers followed in the latter part of the year. Tourist numbers increased to around 100,000 per month in early 2023 and it is hoped that arrivals will continue to move upward. The target tourist numbers for 2023 for Sri Lanka is 2 million and therefore the industry still has a way to go to achieve this goal.

Sri Lanka’s tourist numbers peaked at just over 2.5 million in 2018 according to the World Bank. Clearly the country has a long way to go to reach those numbers again.

Where do the tourists come from?

Visitors from the Russian Federation and India make up the highest number of visitors to Sri Lanka according to the official statistics. 

This article from Outlook India states that in December 2022 there 19,000 from Russian and 17,000 from India. 

The UK, Australia and Germany follow in passenger numbers. We, at GlenMyu Estate, see a lot of French, Swiss, Austrian and Scandinavian tourists coming to the Sri Lankan Hill Country to visit some of the sights including Ella, Nine Arch Bridge, Horton Plains National Park, Lipton Seat and Diyaluma Waterfall.

What countries is Sri Lanka targeting for tourists?

UK, Germany, France, India, China, Australia, Russia, the Middle East, and Scandinavia
During April and May 2023 the Tourist Development authority in Sri Lanka were targeting nine key markets.
If your country is not in that list please do not be offended. We at GlenMyu Estate have welcomed guests from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Kazakhstan, Poland, Ecuador, Kenya, the US and many more.

What Visa do I need to visit Sri Lanka?

Well, you will need a visa to visit Sri Lanka.

As Tourist Visas have changed over the last few years, in Sri Lanka’s attempt to increase tourism, we would recommend that you visit the Government Visa Website to get the most up to date information.

As a tourist you can visit the country for the following activities:

  • Sightseeing, holidaying
  • Visiting friends and relatives
  • Medical treatment including Ayurvedic and yoga
  • Participate in sporting events, competitions and activities relating to cultural performance

The most efficient way to apply for a visa is online via an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation)

There are three types of ETA:

  • ETA for Tourist purpose with double entry for 30 (thirty) days
  • ETA for Business purpose with double entry for 30 (thirty) days
  • ETA for Transit up to 02 days Free of Charge basis (Documentary proof needed)

At present, there are Tourist Visas which cost between US$20 and US$50, depending upon length of visa and country of origin. Visa duration is up to 30 days or up to 180 days.

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Countries visa cost is cheaper due to the special agreement between those countries.

If you are staying longer than 30 days then you should opt for the longer up to 180 days which costs US$50. 

Visit the link for extending your visa for more than 30 days here.

What time of year should I visit Sri Lanka?

Similar to other parts of the world climate change appear to be affecting the weather patterns in Sri Lanka.

Therefore it is more difficult to know when the rains will come.

Know when the Monsoons come.

Beware the South West Monsoon…. oh… and also the North West Monsoon

Tourists visiting Sri Lanka should be aware of the annual monsoons that hit the country.

Make sure you check this before you decide what part of the Island to visit.

The North Eastern Monsoon

December to February
Rainy season in the dry zone
Regular showers in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee or Jaffna
This is an ideal time to visit the south and western beaches
It is also the best time to visit Colombo, Kandy, Galle or Nuwara Eliya
Whale watching season at Mirissa
You can experience the amazing wildlife in Udawalawe or Yala National Park
Horton Plains National Park and Knuckles Mountain range
Pilgrimage season of holy Adam’s Peak

The South Western Monsoon
May – September
There are intermittent rains in the wet zone
Also regular showers in Colombo, Kandy, Galle, or Nuwara Eliya
This is the best time to visit Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya or Dambulla
It is also an ideal to visit north and eastern beaches
It’s the best time of the year to visit Trincomalee, Jaffna, Mannar, Arugam Bay
During August-September there is the elephant gathering at Minneriya and Kaudulla.

Sri Lanka is an all year round destination.

Sri Lanka is a year-round holiday destination. This is due to its combination of weather systems ensuring that one or several regions, as well as a section of coastline, is statistically always expecting sunshine.

The peak season to visit Sri Lanka is between December and mid-April. The traditional summer holiday months are also favourable on the east coast which is at its peak from May to September.

In summary, please check the weather forecast for the part of the country you plan to visit and don’t discount visiting outside the peak season. Nowadays, tourists are looking for places to visit which are not overpopulated and they can see something without battling other people trying to get those Instagram shots.

Find out more about GlenMyu Estate.

Which Nationalities visit Sri Lanka the most? Read More »

2022 – A good start!

I’ll always remember that look on your face.

The start to 2022 at GlenMyu Estate has really been fantastic.

The worst time to open!

Opening in 2021, in the middle of a global pandemic, with very few tourists coming to Sri Lanka and interprovincial lockdowns. It made it difficult for local tourist to discover us, was a real challenging start. 

We were delighted however to host the guests that were able to come. 

And we learned a lot from the experience that they had.

A place for families

We originally didn’t think that the Estate would be a place for children. 

How wrong we were! 

The families that have stayed with us have just loved the freedom of space. Our guests also loved, the animals (primarily our seven dogs and varying number of ducks), and how comfortable that they have been here.

People are starting to get it

The Estate is a place where you can get away from busy lives. A place to take time out to spend with people you love and are great friends.

An exciting new offering to discover and explore.

We have lots of seating areas around the five acre estate. There are great places where you can just sit, enjoy the surrounding nature and spend time with each other. It will be a place of tranquility without the distractions of everyday life.

Swimming in the refreshing Natural Spring Fed Infinity Swimming Pool. It is a great place to create memories with the family.

Ru’s food has been wonderfully received and there have been plenty of compliments from our guests.

It’s really hard to explain what we have here - you only really get it when you stay a few days.

We have had several guests that have stayed one night. They wished that they had stayed longer. We also have had guests that have extended their stay as they have enjoyed it so much here.

Ru and I are also pleased that we have already had some returning guests despite having only been open for a short time.

It just makes us feel so good and puts a smile on our faces.

We even did Christmas

We had originally decided to close over Christmas so that we could spend some time together.

However, we had a call from a returning guest who wanted to book Christmas at the Estate. We are so pleased that we received the call. Both of us had a great time looking after two families for the festive period. It made the end of 2021 very special for us and will remain in our memories for many years to come.

New guests in 2022

We had a great start to the New Year!

Ru and I consider ourselves were blessed to have a couple who just got the vibe of the place so quickly. Ru and I  just love having guests who love GlenMyu Estate and get what we are trying to do here. A 2 night stay was extended to 3 and we were so happy to spend more time with them.

New Countries for us to learn about.

We received our first bookings on and were so happy that people have started to find us through this platform.

We had our first guests, spread over the first ten days of January from Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Russia.

Ru and I learnt so much from these guests who just loved it here. 

Our knowledge of these countries were limited before they came and we were so much better informed when they left for their next destination.

There was political issues in Kazakhstan when our guests arrived. It was heartbreaking hearing how it affected them personally and the challenge that they would find getting home as airports started closing down.

We found them to be a lovely couple. I will always remember the husbands face as we took him down to our hidden waterfall and he was able to jump into the cold, cold water delivered from the streams around the Estate.

The other guests were more relaxed and also loved it here.

When the couple from the Ukraine left there were (almost) tears in ours and their eyes. They just loved it here so much and really bonded with our dogs.

The Russian couple stayed for three nights and had a great time, really appreciating the surroundings and the view.

A highlight for us was when a French couple made a late booking.  Both parties bonded and friendships were started when they did a trip together to Horton Plains National Park.

We now have a brief respite before a busy holiday weekend.

It is a long weekend as Thai Pongol is on Friday and there is a Poya (Full Moon) day on Monday. 

We had so many enquiries about the holiday weekend. Unfortunately we were disappointed that we were not able to host as we already are fully booked.

Book early... or you may be disappointed.

We are recommending guests to book early if there is a National Holiday.  There tends to be a large demand for these dates from local tourists.

You can find the National Holiday dates for 2022 on the following website.

2022 – A good start! Read More »

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