Sri Lanka tourist arrivals fall 15.7-pct in February 2009

Mar 12, 2009 (LBO) – Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka fell 15.7 percent in February to 34,169 with the first two months of 2009 showing a 25.5 percent fall, and visitors from India halving, the country’s tourism promotion office said. East Asian arrivals dropped 28.4 percent to 3,153. Japan dropped 8.3 percent to 867 and China dropped 49.5 percent to 670.

Visitors from the key generating markets in western Europe which is vital to the island’s beach resorts, fell 16.7 percent to 37.576, with UK, the second largest source of tourists after India in 2008, dropping 18.1 percent to 7,316 persons.

France showed a 41 percent recovery to 1,683, with the first two months showing a 30 percent upturn. Germany fell 29.7 percent to 2,549 and the Netherlands was down 32.4 percent to 1,062.

South Asia fell 18.9 percent to 7,125 with India falling 29.7 percent to 4,301. In the first two months of the year Indian visitors dropped 53 percent to 9,569. Arrivals from Pakistan fell 23 percent to 453.

Maldives was resilient showing a 12.2 percent growth to 2,077.

Visitors from Australia increased 22.4 percent to 1,410.

Eastern European visitors dropped 9.8 percent to 3,592 with Russians dropping 9.8 percent to 1,523.

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