Sri Lanka August tourist arrivals up

Sept 10, 2009 (LBO) – Tourist arrivals into Sri Lanka in August 2009 rose 34.3 percent to 41,207 from a year ago, led by visitors from key markets like the UK, Germany, India, the Tourism Authority said. It was the third straight monthly rise in visitors since May, when a 30-year war ended, compared with last year, although the numbers were slightly lower than in July with these months being the off-season.

Arrivals from Germany rose 71 percent in August 2009 to 2,689 from a year ago while those from the United Kingdom were up 17 percent to 8,671 and from India up 52 percent to 7,409.

The number of visitors from Japan, known to be particularly sensitive to conflict, rose 34 percent to 1,318 in August 2009 from a year ago.

Japan is one of the few key tourism generating markets to now show a positive growth for the year, with the number of arrivals during January-August up 5.4 percent to 7,149.

Sri Lanka’s winter tourist season starts in October and the travel trade has been anticipating much higher numbers with the end of the ethnic conflict.

Arrivals saw a big jump in June and July as soon as the 30-year war ended in May when government forces defeated Tamil Tiger rebels.