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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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Tourist arrivals up 21.5 percent

The number of tourist arrivals during the first 10 months this year recorded a 21.5 percent growth compared to the corresponding period last year, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority data revealed.

The number of visitors rose 1,228,754 from January to October this year as against 1,011,255 recorded last year. Tourism is on a optimistic drive to attract around 2.5 million tourists by 2016 and around 1.5 million by the end of this year. The number of tourist arrivals last year reached 1, 274,593.

The number of visitors increased 13.6 percent to 121,576 in October compared to 107,058 in the corresponding month last year. The highest number of visitors were recorded in April with an increase of 39.5 percent to 112,631 compared to 80,737 in the corresponding month last year.

The number of arrivals recorded a steady growth this year beginning with a 32.6 percent increase in January followed by 24.5, 17.5 and 39.5 percent in the months that followed.

The number of tourist arrivals was low last month as it was the off-season. Arrivals are expected to rise with the onset of winter in Europe. Hotel occupancy according to city hoteliers is around 60 percent at present.

From a regional perspective, the number of arrivals from Western Europe recorded the highest this year with a 17.9 percent increase to 46,301. The number of arrivals from the region last year was 39,283.

Visitors from Eastern Europe recorded the second highest with 24,837 visitors compared to 15,183 last year, a 63.8 percent increase. East Asia recorded a 95.6 percent increase with 25,823 visitors compared to 13,200 in 2013. The number of arrivals from South Asia recorded a growth of 14.6 with 28,392 visitors compared to 24,774 last year.

The number of arrivals from Africa also increased from 575 last year to 875 this year.

The lowest growth was recorded from the Middle East with a 9.7 percent increase in arrivals.

India, UK, China Russia, Germany, France, the Maldives, Ukraine, Australia and Indonesia are the top 10 countries for tourist arrivals this year.

Sri Lanka's diverse tourist attractions lures visitors to the country every year making it one of the top destinations in the region for tourism.

Thailand, Malaysia, China and Singapore are some of the leading tourist destinations in the region.

- LF

 

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