Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 39-pct in May

June 10, 2011 (LBO) – Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka rose 39 percent to 48,000 in May 2011 from a year earlier, led by increases in visitors from India and East Asia, data from the tourist promotion office showed. Visitors from Britain fell 0.4 percent to 4,452 while German arrivals rose a modest 3.2 percent to 2,137.

Sri Lanka’s resort tourism industry is now facing the so-called ‘off-season’ for European visitors who peak during the northern hemisphere winter.

The island’s main beach resorts in the Western and Southern areas also face wet weather during the time.

However the island is now developing its East Coast for tourism after the end of a 30-year war which provides sunny weather at this time of the year.

Heavy demand has also pushed up room rates in Sri Lanka above comparable East Asian competitors. Last year arrivals rose 46 percent after a 30-year war ended. In the five months to May arrivals are so far up 40.2 percent to 327,902 from a year earlier.

In May visitors from India rose 55 percent to 16,649 driving arrivals from South Asia up 53 percent to 21,016.

East Asian visitors rose 66 percent 6,605, with across the board increases in most countries. Chinese visitors ro