Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 11.6-pct in February

Apr 29, 2013 (LBO) – Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka rose 11.6 percent in February 2013 to 93,232 from a year earlier, helped by gains in Europe and East Asia, official data showed. Malaysian visitors rose 27.9 percent to 1,973 while tourists from Singapore dropped 23 percent to 1,030 and those from Taiwan fell 67 percent to 262. Korean visitors also dropped 23.7 percent to 492.

South Asian visitors rose only 2.5 percent to 15,897, with India Sri Lanka’s largest generating market dropped 1.8 percent to 11,139.

India became Sri Lanka’s top tourist market after visas were dropped about decade ago, but they were re-imposed last year.

The Indian economy weakened last year and there has also been unease between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka following nationalist action against Sri Lankans visiting the area. Sri Lanka’s state-run national carrier cut flights to India.

Error corrected – para 2 Britain Arrivals from Western Europe rose 13.7 percent to 43,635 with Britain growing 26.1 percent to 11,031 and Germany up 8.1 percent to 8,276.

Arrivals from France rose 4.0 percent to 6,632, Netherlands was up 1.1 percent to 3,020 and Switzerland was up 27.1 percent