Arrivals in the first two months of the year were up 28.5 percent YoY to 288,453, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) said. Tourist arrivals from Eastern Europe topped the list in terms of growth with a YoY growth of 55.5 percent to 22,927 arrivals during the month under review of which 9,723 were Russians visiting the country, up 92 percent from a year earlier. Ukraine was up 5.3 percent to 4,905 and the Czech Republic up 26.2 percent to 1,996. SLTDA data suggested that during the month in consideration, Sri Lanka witnessed an increase in arrivals from UK and German markets as well. Accordingly, arrivals from the UK grew 5.2 percent YoY to 14,316 while the German market showed an increase of 15 percent to 11,305. From the same region, France was up 28.6 percent to 10,617, Switzerland up 9.3 percent to 2,244, Austria up 10.4 percent to 2,086 and Netherlands up 13.2 percent to 2,066. The North American region, which includes Canada and the USA, showed an increase in arrivals from 5,235 in February 2013 to 5,489 during 2014 although arrivals from the USA declined marginally (0.4 percent) YoY to 2,880.
Sri Lanka Tourism follows the UN standard of defining a tourist as “a person who stays at least one night in a country and does not exceed his stay period for more than 12 months.”
Chinese arrivals which include Hong Kong and Macau rose 63.9 percent YoY to 10,319 while arrivals from India stood at 17,534, up 21.5 percent. From the East Asian region, Japan was up 6.6 percent to 3,350, Malaysia dropped 27.4 percent to 1,756 and Philippines dropped 35.5 percent to 708.