By Apsara Rodrigo
COLOMBO – The Galle Literary Festival organizers expect an estimated 6,000 to 15,000 visitors in January 2024 as they focus on drawing a more international audience than in previous years.
“We’ve got four primary demographics,” Giselle Harding, one of the organizers, said, explaining, “One being cultural tourists, those interested in literature and the arts. They tend to be 30-60 year-olds with a high net worth.”
Other demographics included students, authors, and media, Harding said adding that this year they were also hoping for more visitors from the Middle East.
The average tourist in Sri Lanka spends approximately 185-195 US dollars a day, Sri Lanka’s Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) said. It has set a target of 2.3 million tourist arrivals in 2024.
Harding said 184 other events were happening concurrent to the festival.
The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau confirmed the concurrent events, adding that there would be several festivals organized around the time of the Galle Literary Festival to offer something for everyone.
“We’ve been advertising in global magazines and supplements such as The Sunday Times in London and the South China Morning Post,” Harding said.
Foreign media have been invited to cover the event and utilize the platform of the author’s attending to attract international attention, she said.