It’s been a rough couple of years for Sri Lanka, but right now is a great time to visit this rugged, tropical, and beautifully diverse country.
The Sri Lankan people are warm and welcoming, and tourism can have a hugely positive impact on the local economy.
Plus, there aren’t many countries where you can have breakfast in a lush mountaintop tea plantation and then lunch on a tropical white sand beach.
Sri Lanka is a complicated country with a rich history that only makes it a more interesting place to visit.
So why should you be visiting now? Here’s why now is the perfect time to visit Sri Lanka:
Low Tourism Numbers
Right now few Americans choose to visit Sri Lanka for tourism reasons. Global tourism numbers to the island aren’t particularly high either.
Just 140,000 foreign national arrivals were recorded arriving in the country in July. But all that is expected to change.
The Sri Lankan government has just revealed new plans to target 5 million tourist arrivals every year from next year.
They plan to introduce several tourism promotion initiatives and are expecting to see arrivals skyrocket as a result.
If you want to visit Sri Lanka before it becomes the next tourist-crammed Bali, then now is the time to book your flights and make the trip.
Good Value On The Ground
Flying to Sri Lanka will never be as cheap as flying to other closer tropical destinations like Mexico or the Caribbean.
But once you’re in Sri Lanka, the value on the ground is exceptional.
The fall in the value of the Sri Lankan rupee means that now is an incredibly good value time to visit the country. The costs of tours, transportation, and accommodation are refreshingly affordable.
What’s more, many hotels have kept their prices at pre-pandemic levels which is pretty much unheard of in any of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, though taxes have risen in the country because of the economic crisis.
The average price for all hotels in Sri Lanka is $52 per night while the average price for a budget hotel is $21 per night.
A Return To Safety
Sri Lanka has experienced a host of widely reported economic and political difficulties in the last couple of years.
First there were the 2019 Easter bombings. Then Covid hit. Then just as there was light at the end of the tunnel, in 2022 the Sri Lankan economy collapsed.
These issues meant that there were shortages of fuel and cooking gas, as well as some medicines and essential food items. This led to widespread political unrest in the country.
When these problems were at their peak the U.S. State Department issued a level 3 travel advisory recommending that American citizens reconsider travel to Sri Lanka.
But this level has dropped to Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution. This means that Sri Lanka is considered to be a safe country to visit right now.
There are still shortages of imported goods and fuel in the country, but fuel rationing has helped to ease the situation and this has very little impact on tourists.
Even when there are frequent power outages most tourist facilities have backup generators so that you won’t really notice the impact.
If you need specific medicines, then you are advised to travel with these as there are still some medical shortages in Sri Lanka.
But in general, tourists in Sri Lanka can still feel safe and secure.
Sri Lanka is a year-round destination for wildlife watchers and nature tourism.
The country is uniquely placed so that it experiences two monsoon seasons, meaning when one half of the country is getting a soaking, the other is dry, and vice versa.
But the best time for exploring the whole country is considered to be the shoulder season of September and October. This period offers the best weather right across the country, plus prices are lower and crowd levels are lower too.
For nature lovers, September sees 200-plus elephants gather in one spot in Minneriya National Park. Known as ‘the gathering,’ this event can last for several weeks and is an incredible thing to see.
It is referred to as one of Asia’s greatest wildlife spectacles.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com