Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 9.5-pct in July

Aug 27, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 9.5 percent to 98,944 in July 2013 from a year earlier, helped by India, Germany and China, data from the state tourism promotion office said. In the seven months to July visitors were up 12.5 percent to 611,222.

South Asian arrivals rose 24.6 percent to 20,974 with Indian visitors surging 30 percent to 15,032, bucking weak trend so far this year. Up to July visitors from India were up only 2.2 percent to 99,013.

Visitors from Western Europe rose 10.5 percent to 45,930 with arrivals from Germany up 40 percent to 8,203. Britain Sri Lanka’s second largest generating market after India¬ send 14,005 visitors up 2.7 percent.

Arrivals from France were up 5.7 percent to 6,541, from Netherlands up 5.8 percent to 4,192 and from Switzerland up 8.3 percent to 3,194.

Visitors from the Middle East were down 49.9 percent to 2,751. In the six months to July Middle Eastern visitors were down 7.9 percent. Middle East has seen unrest and Sri Lankan nationalists had also been targeting the Muslim minority in recent months.

Visitors from East Asia were up 17.6 percent in July to 12,507, with China up 84 percent to 3,626.

Visitors f