Sri Lanka March tourist arrivals up 53.7-pct

Apr 08, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s March 2010 tourist arrivals rose 53.7 percent to 52,352 from a year earlier with more visitors from Western Europe, Middle East and South Asia, tourist promotions office data showed. Arrivals from Western Europe was up 52.3 percent to 69,877, Middle East 106 percent to 7,352, South Asia 53.4 percent to 37,194, Eastern Europe 17 percent 12,655 and North America 63 percent to 9,222. The tourist arrivals from Western Europe rose 48.6 percent to 21,797 in March 2010 from a year ago with arrivals from the UK up 30.1 percent to 8,559, France up 63.1 percent to 2,872 and Germany up 96.5 percent to 5,305.

South Asian tourist arrivals rose from 51.7 percent to 12,801.

Arrivals from India, one the largest tourist markets for Sri Lanka, had shot up 72.1 percent to 8,607 in March 2010. Maldivian arrivals rose 26.3 percent to 3,160 and those from Pakistan went up 44.7 percent to 612 visitors, the data showed.

Visitors from the Middle-East rose 138 percent to 2,928, and arrivals from Africa had increased 55.2 percent to 135.

Eastern Europe arrivals were up 21.8 percent to 3,421. Arrivals from Russia the largest tourist market from the eastern block were up 10 percent to 1,3