Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 16.8 -pct in September

Oct 06, 2014 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 16.8 percent to 105,535 in September 2014 from a year earlier, driven by India and China, data from the state tourism promotion office showed. Western European visitors are strong in the northern hemisphere winter season and when Sri Lanka’s Western coast is sunny and calm until the monsoon season starts in May.

Eastern European arrivals were down 6.8 percent to 7,058 with Russia, the seventh largest market to Sri Lanka down 8.1 percent to 3,018, while Ukraine also down 46.9 percent to 1,350.

Middle Eastern visitors were up 35.5 percent to 8,299 with arrivals from Saudi Arabis were increased by 269.7 percent to 4,433 while UAE up 10.4 percent to 481 and Oman was up 78.0 percent to 892.

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. With September arrivals the Indian ocean Island has crossed 1.1 million tourist arrivals mark.

In the nine months of 2014, arrivals were up 22.4 percent to 1,107,178.

South Asian visitors were up 9.7 percent to 28,561 compared to the same month last year with arrivals from India, Sri Lanka top marke