Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 46.1-pct in 2010

Jan 12, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals in December 2010 rose 48.8 percent to 84,627 from a year earlier, driven by sharp increases from traditional European markets seen due to the winter season, official data showed.

Tourists from Denmark, Finland and Sweden saw increases of over one hundred percent during the month.

Visitors from South Asia were up 50.5 percent to 23,087 with Indians increasing 51.2 percent to 15,753. Maldivian visitors were up 44.5 percent to 5,670. South Asian visitors were up 39.2 percent to 175,694 in the Jan to Dec period.

Total arrivals to December were up 46.1 percent to 654,476 from a year earlier.

For the full year 2010, arrivals were up 46.1 percent to 654,476.

Tourist arrivals from Western Europe shot up by 54 percent in December 2010 to 30,855 after travel warning in many countries were relaxed or removed after the end of a 30-year war.

The island’s peak tourism season coincides with the northern hemisphere winter.

In December, visitors from the United Kingdom, a key market, rose 16.6 percent to 10,176 while those from Germany, went up 23.6 percent to 4,468 people in October, data from the tourist promotion office showed.

The number of visit