August 05, 2014 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 25.2 percent to 133,971 in June 2014 from a year earlier, by driven by China and India, data from the state tourism promotion office showed. Western European visitors are strong in the northern hemisphere winter season and when Sri Lanka’s Western coast is sunny and calm until the monsoon season starts in May.
Eastern European arrivals were up 35.7percent to 6,323 with Russia up 40 percent to 2,649, But Ukraine was down 17.3 percent to 1029.
Middle Eastern visitors were up 55 percent to 5,998 with arrivals from Saudi Arabis up 123.1 percent to 1,785 and UAE up 256 percent to 833 while Oman tourist arrivals was up 43 percent to 389 the data showed.
In the middle of the year, Middle Eastern arrivals were becoming an important segment of visitors to keep the hotel industry ticking.
Sri Lanka tourism authority targets 2.5 million tourists by 2016. The island achieved 1.2 million tourists in the year 2013 up from 26.7 from a year earlier. In the first seven months of 2014 arrivals were up 24.7 percent to 861,324.
South Asian visitors were up 27.9 percent to 26,681 with arrivals from India, Sri Lanka top market, up 30.4 pe