Oct 05, 2007 (LBO) – Foreign visitors to Sri Lanka slipped 15.5 percent in August while total number of arrivals from January to August this year decreased 22.6 percent, the islands tourist promotion office said. Compared to last August, the arrivals slumped to 44,742 while total arrivals from January to August were down to 313,675 from 405,488 last year.
In July the fall was steeper at 20 percent, while the total for seven months was down 24 percent.
Western Europe, a key market for the island was down 16.4 percent to 18,093 tourists but arrivals from UK steadied with a five percent rise to 9,966 arrivals compared to August last year, the Sri Lanka Tourist Board has reported.
Germany was down 29 percent to 2,307 arrivals while strict advisories by France slashed its numbers to 771 arrivals, from 2,461 last August.
Netherlands fell 25 percent to 1,320.
With a relaxation of some European travel advisories, the industry is expecting a slight upturn later in the year as the country enters the peak winter season.
Officials are hoping that visitors from France in particular would increase in the next 2-3 months following a full relaxation of its travel advisory on Sri Lanka.