Sri Lanka tourist arrivals overtake Maldives

Dec 19, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals which rose 16.5 percent to 883,353 in the 11 months to November 2012 from a year earlier, has outstripped that of Maldives which welcomed 866,310 tourists up only 2.4 percent. The phenomenon based mostly on overland travel revolutionized global tourism before the advent of privately owned budget airlines during a time when air travel was constrained by state-run full service carriers backed by prohibitive regulations.

The ‘hippie trail’ died down after the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union.

Visitors from Britain fell 13.8 percent to 7,164 in November to the Maldives.

Tourists from Germany fell 13.2 percent to 8,729 and from Italy by 35.9 percent to 3,551, data from the Maldives tourist promotion office showed.

But Sri Lanka saw a 16.6 percent rise in German visitors to 8,161 in November while visitors from UK rose 12.9 percent to 10,828.

Some of Sri Lanka’s up market hotels have been offering credit card discounts in December, usually the peak season. Up market hotels have expensive infrastructure, despite tax breaks and building materials imported duty free.

Chinese arrivals rose 9.2 percent to 18,450, a trend also seen in Sri Lanka.