Sri Lanka tourism arrivals up 13.4-pct in Jan

Mar 13, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tourism arrivals rose 13.4 percent to 97,411 in January 2013 from a year earlier, with double digit growth from Western Europe and China, the state tourism promotion office data showed. Indian visitors which grew just 2.9 percent in the whole of 2012 after visa requirements were re-imposed rose 7.0 percent to 15,631. India became Sri Lanka’s largest generating market over the past decade after visa’s were lifted.

Maldives, rose 45.9 percent to 4,563.

Sri Lanka welcomed 1,005,000 visitors last year and is targeting an ambitious 1.25 million in 2013.

Tourist arrivals have surged since 2009, when a 30-year war ended. Western European arrivals rose 13.7 percent to 41,484 with UK growing 25.4 percent 10,235, Germany up 13.6 percent to 6,738, France up 16.4 percent to 5,567 and Netherlands up 3.5 percent to 3,716.

Eastern European visitors grew 18.2 percent to 8,083 with Russian arrivals up 16.7 percent to 3,256 and Ukraine up 41.2 percent to 2,027.

Middle East was up 3.2 percent to 4,077.

East Asia rose 7.6 percent to 10,039 with China rising 26.8 percent to 2,476 and Japan grew 9.8 percent to 20.48. Visitors from Singapore dropped 38.5 percent to 893.