Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 43.5-pct in March

Apr 12, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tourism arrivals rose 43.5 percent in March 2011 to 75,130, with steep increases seen from South Asia and several European generating markets, data from the tourist promotion office showed.

Australia and New Zealand rose 50 percent to 3,540 and North America was up 16.8 percent to 3,990. Middle rose 38 percent to 4,067 and East Asia rose 29.3 percent to 7,033.

Chinese arrivals increased 69 percent to 1,361, Japan rose 22.7 percent to 1,525 and Malaysia was also up 22.7 percent to 1,329 and Singapore was up 31.6 percent to 1,198.

In the first quarter arrivals were up 34.1 percent from a year earlier.

March arrivals were the highest ever for a single month since December 2010, when 84,000 visitors came, an official said. Last year Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 46 percent to 654,476 after a 30-year war ended.

Arrivals from Western Europe, a key source of revenue to the country’s resort hotels, rose 37.6 percent to 30,003.

Visitors from France rose 105 percent to 5,899, Sweden rose 260 percent to 1,446, Italy rose 78.2 percent to 1,112, The Netherlands rose 74 percent to 1,951 and Germany was up 11.3 percent to 5,904. Britain the largest western market was u