Middle East tourism market Saudi ahead of Israel

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By 2018-02-14

By Paneetha Ameresekere

Sri Lanka last week (6-7 February) took part in a tourism mart in Israel, the Presidential Secretariat website said.

Tourism is Sri Lanka's third largest foreign exchange earner after remittances and garments respectively.

Last month, Israel was Sri Lanka's 31st largest tourism market, with arrivals from Israel growing by 19.8 per cent year on year (YoY) to 1,323, percentage wise faster than overall tourism growth last month, which grew at a slower rate of 12.6 per cent YoY to 246,972.

Nonetheless, from the Middle East, Israel was Sri Lanka's second largest tourism market, whereas the largest was Saudi Arabia, with its numbers last month at more than three times the Israeli numbers at 4,574. Saudi will be hosting a tourism mart in April.
Meanwhile, last year (2017), Saudi was Sri Lanka's 13th largest tourism market, whereas Israel lagged behind in the 32nd place.

Nonetheless, on an overall basis, Saudi numbers fell by 8.6 per cent YoY to 35,481 last year, whereas the Israeli numbers grew by 6.6 per cent to 11,080; percentage wise more than double the overall YoY tourism growth rate, where tourism numbers as a whole, grew by a miserly 3.2 per cent YoY to 2,116,407 last year.

Meanwhile, last month, a total of 420,300 Israeli tourists flew out on holiday, while last year those numbers were 7,090,300.

Further, according to the available data, Israel's gross domestic product per capita in 2016 was US$ 37,292.61, while that of Saudi lagged behind at US$ 20,028.65.




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