Sri Lanka tourist arrivals fall 20-pct in September

Oct 22, 2008 (LBO) – Foreign visitors to Sri Lanka fell 20 percent in September with generating markets in Western Europe and India recording steep falls, the latest data from the island’s tourist promotion office said.

In the 10 months to September arrivals were down 9.5 percent to 317,500 from 350,779. In period Western European visitors fell 9.3 percent to 124,500, Eastern Europe 20.3 percent to 18,700.

But arrivals from Middle East rose 10.6 percent to 11,700.

Total visitors in September fell to 29,500 from 37,100 a year ago. Arrivals from Western Europe fell 24.5 percent to 11,706 with UK falling 15.6 percent to 6,555, Germany 37.2 percent to 1,689, Netherlands 36.5 percent to 918 and Ital 32.2 percent to 822.

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Arrivals from South Asia fell 19.1 percent to 8,613 with India falling 19.0 percent to 6,600 and Maldives falling 19.1 percent to 1,452. Visitors from the Middle East rose 3.4 percent to 912.

Meanwhile the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) said Wednesday it had appointed public relations firms in UK, Middle East, Germany, France and India to boost the island’s