June 22, 2007 (LBO) – Visitors to Sri Lanka plummeted 40 percent in May with Europe and East Asia showing steep falls, as an intensifying conflict, travel advisories and air raids on the capital scared away foreigners. Most listed hotel firms are reporting losses, but major operators who have operations in the Maldives have managed to stay in the black. Total arrivals in May fell to 26,307 from 43,825 in April.
In the first five months total arrivals have now fallen 23.4 percent 193,981 the government’s statistics office said.
Arrivals from Western Europe plunged 45 percent to 8,700 with France dropping 84 percent, Germany 53 percent, Netherlands 46 percent and UK 29 percent.
North American visitors dropped 37 percent with Canada where there is a large expatriate Sri Lankan community, dropping 43 percent.
East Asia dropped 59 percent, with Japan falling 50 percent and China 40 percent.
South Asia dropped 28 percent, with India Sri Lanka’s largest generating market falling 31 percent to 7998.