Tourist arrivals increased by 26.1 percent year-on-year (YoY) to 100,244 visitors in August. The Western European region recorded the highest arrivals with 38,951 in August against 32,656 arrivals last year,with arrivals from the UK and Germany increasing by 6.9 percent YoY and 35 percent YoY respectively to 12,353 and 8,318 arrivals each.
India was the single largest source of arrivals to the country with 14,528 visitors in August,up 29.2 percent YoY while the South Asian region as a whole accounted for 22,208 arrivals,reflecting a 35.9 percent YoY growth.
The East Asian region accounted for a further 15,544 arrivals up 33.4 percent YoY and China with a 73.6 percent YoY increase in arrivals to 4,098 visits during the month.
Arrivals from Eastern Europe increased by 8.3 percent YoY to 4,281 visits with Russia accounting for 1,981 tourists. However,arrivals from Ukraine dropped 10.7 percent YoY to 1,010 arrivals in August.Additionally, arrivals from the Middle East increased 75.4 percent YoY to 8,683 visits. India,China,Russia and the Middle East are tipped as emerging tourist markets with many destinations now realigning their tourist campaigns to cater to these new markets.The total arrivals from January to August this year increased by 14.3 percent YoY to 711,466 visitors,mostly from the Western European region,which accounted for 281,223 arrivals reflecting a 13.9 percent YoY increase.South Asian arrivals topped 168,796 approximately 12.6 percent over the previous year with India accounting for 113,541 arrivals, a marginal 4.9 percent YoY increase.
Meanwhile,arrivals from East Asia grew by 23.6 percent YoY to 97,361 arrivals while arrivals from Eastern Europe grew 21 percent YoY to 46,411 arrivals.Sri Lanka Tourism target for the end of this year stands at 1.1 million arrivals, having been revised down from a previously targeted 1.25 million arrivals. (CF)