Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 42-pct in May.

June 07, 2010 (LBO) – Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka rose 42.3 percent to 35,213 in May 2010 from a year earlier with strong growth in South Asian and Western European markets, data from the island’s tourism office showed. Sri Lanka has seen a revival in tourism after a 30-year war ended on May 18, 2009.

The highest recorded tourist arrivals for the month of May were 43,825, achieved in 2006. In April 38,300 came to Sri Lanka.

In the five months to May arrivals were up 48.5 percent to 233,922 from a year earlier.

In May arrivals from Western Europe rose 32 percent to 10,577 at the end of the peak ‘winter’ season. Two of the biggest Western European markets, the United Kingdom sent 4,469 visitors in May, dipped 2.0 percent, and Germany sent 2,071 tourists, up 70.3 percent.

Eastern Europe generated 1,112 tourists, up 11 percent with Russian arrivals up 10.3 percent to 460.

Arrivals from the fast growing Middle East market rose 64.1 percent to 1,342, and East Asian arrivals were up almost 20 percent to 3,959. Arrivals from China were up 12.8 percent to 668.

Visitors from South Asia galloped 60.1 percent to 13,734 of which India generated 10,686 tourists, up 87.6 percent, Maldives 2,230, up 4.0