Published on : Friday, March 9, 2018
China reclaimed the leading spot as the largest tourist sourcing nation after a lapse of 18 months as per the data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.
Tourist arrivals to the island reached 235,618 tourists marked a increase of 19.3% year-on-year over February 2017.
The partial closure of the airport in the initial four months of 2017 had contributed to a lower base figure for tourist arrivals to grow from. Last month also witnessed the second consecutive month of double digit arrivals that signaled return to the normal tourism growth rate this year followed by 2017’s disappointing scenario at negative tourist arrivals growth.
Western Europe remained the biggest regional market for Sri Lanka’s tourism industry in the waning winter period with 82,310 arrivals that was a 7.2% growth year-on-year despite political uncertainty in the Eurozone.
The British market expanded 17.8% year-on-year luring 23,817 tourists.
The number of Germans visiting Sri Lanka rose by 16% year-on-year to 17,066 tourists while 16,871 French had visited the island that was a 21.3% growth year-on-year. The second largest regional market was East Asia with 50,192 arrivals growing at a rate of 21.1% year-on-year during the month in which the Traditional Chinese New Year Falls after recording negative growth last year.
Chinese visitor arrivals increased by 42.3% year-on-year to 35,929 tourists while tourists from Japan grew by 10.6% year-on-year to 5,263 tourists.
Arrivals from South Asia increased by 17.2% year-on-year to 41,177 tourists led by a 25.1% year-on-year rise in arrivals from India. From here 32,914 tourists were sourced. Arrivals from the Maldives where political instability continues declined by 7.4% year-on-year to 4,726 tourists.
Arrivals from Eastern Europe grew by 20.3 percent year-on-year to 28,601 tourists.
The North American market grew by 27.5 percent YoY to 10,823 tourists, while the Australasian market too grew at an identical rate.