Tourist arrivals rise 17% in September

Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 16.8 percent to 105,535 in September 2014 from a year earlier, driven by India and China, data from the state tourism promotion office released last week showed.In the nine months of 2014, arrivals grew by 22.4 percent to 1,107,178.

South Asian visitors improved 9.7 percent to 28,561 compared to the same month last year with arrivals from India, Sri Lanka’s top market, surging 4.6 percent to 19,244.
Visitors from Maldives were up 40.7 percent to 6,276 and Pakistan was down 17.7 percent to 1,772.

East Asian visitors were up 57.8 percent to 23,516 with arrivals from China up 129.4 percent to 13,312. In the nine months to September, visitors from China were up 52.1 percent to 207,214 compared to 107,330 from Britain up 4.5 percent. Malaysian visitors were up 22.4 percent to 1,509, Japanese were up 15.7 percent to 3,943 and Indonesia was down 9.0 percent to 863 compared to the same month last year.

Visitors from Western Europe were up 6.5 percent to 28,234 in the month with UK down 4.0 percent to 8,983 and Germany up 15.3 percent to 6,996. Western European visitors are strong in the northern hemisphere winter season and when Sri Lanka’s Western coast is sunny and calm until the monsoon season starts in May.

Eastern European arrivals were down 6.8 percent to 7,058 with Russia, the seventh largest market to Sri Lanka down 8.1 percent to 3,018, while Ukraine also down 46.9 percent to 1,350. Middle Eastern visitors were up 35.5 percent to 8,299 with arrivals from Saudi Arabis were increased by 269.7 percent to 4,433 while UAE up 10.4 percent to 481 and Oman was up 78.0 percent to 892.

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