Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 35-pct in August

Setp 13, 2010 (LBO) – Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka was up 35.7 percent to 55,898 in August led by Indians and Britons, with visitors during the first eight months up 46.7 percent from a year earlier, tourism office data showed. In the first eight months Western Europe generated 162,500 visitors up 50.4 percent, South Asia 101,601 up 41 percent and East Asia 41,419 up 38.9 percent.

In August, arrivals from Western Europe were up 51 percent to 108,049 led by UK (up 43 percent to 12,413, Germany (up 45 percent to 3,919 and France (up 74 percent to 2,925).

South Asian visitors grew 15 percent to 71,610, with Indians leading at 9,255 up 24 percent. Maldivian arrivals fell 8 percent 1,860 and visitors from Pakistan also fell 9.2 percent to 691.

Arrivals North America grew 64 percent to 3,835 with Canada generating 2,093 visitors up 96 percent and the United States 1,743, up 37 percent. Both countries have significant Sri Lankan immigrant populations.

Eastern Europe grew 28 percent to 2,025, with Russia growing 23 percent to 835.

Middle Eastern arrivals fell 13 percent to 2,562.

East Asia grew 32 percent to 6,734 with Chinese arrivals growing 22 percent to 1,097, Japan 49 percent to 1,964, Malaysia up