September 08, 2014 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 13.8 percent to 140,319 in August 2014 from a year earlier, driven by China and India, data from the state tourism promotion office showed. Middle Eastern visitors were up 16.0 percent to 18,823 with arrivals from Saudi Arabis down 13.7 percent to 6,653 and UAE down 2.5 percent to 2551 but Oman was up 194.5 percent to 3,852.
Sri Lanka targets 1.5 million tourist arrivals for the year 2014 with the key focus of achieving 2.5 million of tourists in the end of 2016. In the first eight months of 2014 arrivals were up 23.1 percent to 1,001,643.
South Asian visitors were down 1.8 percent to 26,792 compared to the same month last year with arrivals from India, Sri Lanka top market, down 5.7 percent to 17,912.
Visitors from Maldives were up 30.1 percent to 5,891 and Pakistan was down 24.8 percent to 1,699.
East Asian visitors were up 42.1 percent to 27,021 with arrivals from China up 139.9 percent to 14,274.
In the eight months to August, visitors from China were up 143.5 percent to 81,682 compared to 98,347 from Britain up 5.4 percent.
Malaysian visitors were up 1.4 percent to 1,542, Japanese were up 6.9 percent to