Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 32-pct in July

Aug 11, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 32 percent to 63,339 in July 2011 with visitors in the first seven months rising 36 percent to 465,324 data from the tourist promotions office showed. Pakistani arrivals surged 130 percent to 2,040 and visitors from the Maldives rose 38 percent to 3,336. Western European visitors rose 18.6 percent to 34,089 with arrivals from Belgium rising 124 percent to 1,695, France up 27 percent to 4,756, Switzerland up 13 percent to 2,016, Germany up 29 percent to 3,540 and the UK up 2.3 percent to 11,734.

Western European visitors are key to sustaining Sri Lanka’s beach resorts, but their peak period is the European winter when Sri Lanka’s Southern and Western coast are bright and sunny.

During mid-year during the South Western monsoon season Sri Lanka’s newly re-opened Eastern resorts can now welcome beach lovers.

This period is also peak season for Middle Eastern visitors. Tourists from the Middle East rose 45.3 percent to 10,136. East Asian arrivals rose 60.5 percent to 8,374 with strong growth in visitors from China, Malaysia and Singapore.

Visitors from South Asia rose 46.4 percent to 18,643 with Indian arrivals, Sri Lanka’s top market ri