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Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 25.4-pct in December
23 Jan, 2013 08:23:16
Jan 23, 2013 (LBO) - Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals in December 2013 rose 25.4 percent, the highest monthly total ever, and annual arrivals were up 17.5 percent to 1.005 million, the state tourism office said.
Arrivals from Western Europe were up 29.6 percent to 43,699 with Britain Sri Lanka's top market in the region up 27.8 percent to 12,861. Germany was up 64.4 percent to 9,059, France was up 51.2 percent to 5,551.

North America was up 9.4 percent to 6,475. Eastern Europe was up 61.2 percent in December with Ukraine surging to 3,275 from 227 a year earlier and Russia up 27.4 percent to 4,897.

The Middle East was up 25.6 percent to 6,073.

East Asia was up 62.1 percent to 16,658 with China surging 213 percent to 3,605 Japan up 49.1 percent to 2,907, Singapore up 11.1 percent to 2,876 and Malaysia up 31.2 percent to 2,446.

South Asia rose 6.1 percent to 27,445 with India, Sri Lanka's top market rising 8.5 percent to 18,941 followed by Maldives up 1.5 percent to 6,564.

Annual arrivals rose 17.5 percent to 1,005,605 with Western Europe rising 18.4 percent to 373,063 and South Asia rising 38 percent to 132,730.

India rose 2.9 percent to 176,340 slowing its strong 20 percent levels seen in earlier years when Indian could visit Sri Lanka without visa.

Last year India's currency also depreciated which could also have contributed. But the Indian market originally started to grow swiftly after visas were lifted.

UK visitors rose 7.7 percent to 114,218, Germany rose 28.2 percent to 71,642 followed by French visitor at 56,863 up 16.8 percent.

Japanese arrivals rose 26.7 percent to 26,085, Japan rose 25,781 to 58.1 percent and Netherland rose 11.6 percent to 25,754.

The state tourism office said it was targeting 1.25 million visitors in 2013.

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