Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 3.4 pct in Q1, March down 2.5-pct

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Apr 06, 2017 (LBO)  – Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 3.4 percent in the first three months to 604,953 with gains seen in the East-Asian market, while arrivals in March dropped 2.5 percent to 188,076 year on year.

Arrivals from China rose 12.9 percent to 22,172, while a significant increase was seen in Indonesian visitors with a rise of 82.9 percent to 3,677, data from the tourism promotion office said.

However, dips were seen across South Asia. Arrivals from India dropped 10.3 percent to 27,075 while Maldives dropped 10 percent to 8,076 in March together with a drop of 10.4 percent to 2,433 visitors from Pakistan.

Visitors from Western Europe also dropped 6.2 percent to 65,640. The arrivals from the United Kingdom were down 9.2 percent to 19,451 while Germany dropped 6.5 percent to 15,207.

Arrivals in March 2017 dropped 2.5 percent to 188,076, compared with the same month in 2016. This is the second consecutive month that visitors have decreased.

Sri Lanka’s Bandaranayake International Airport (BIA) has been closed for eight hours a day from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm for four months until April 07 which has caused inconvenience for travelers and long waiting time at the main airport.

Tourist arrivals hit record highs in 2016, with annual arrivals jumping 14 percent to a record 2.05 million.