Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 68-pct in February: data

Mar 11, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka tourist arrivals surge 67.7 percent to 57,300 in February 2010 from a year earlier, with steep increases in generating markets in India, UK and Germany, official data showed. Visitors from Singapore rose 112 percent to 829.

Sri Lanka has seen a surge of tourist arrivals with the industry reporting packed hotels till March. The European winter is the peak tourist season for Sri Lanka.

In 2009 38,464 visitors came to Sri Lanka amidst an intensifying war with Tamil separatists that ended in May 2009. In 2008, 40,551 tourists came in February, Sri Lanka’s tourism development office said.

Visitors from Western Europe rose 71.7 percent to 26,850 in February with UK rising 46.3 percent to 10,700, Germany up 122 percent to 5,656, France up 104 percent to 3,440 and the Netherlands up 53 percent to 1,621.

South Asian visitors rose 66.6 percent to 11,869 with India growing 94.9 percent too 8,383, Maldives up 20 percent to 2,500 and Pakistan up 34 percent to 609.

Arrivals from Australasia were up 32 percent to 2,067 and East Asia was up 93.7 percent to 6,104. Japanese visitors increased 50.6 percent to 1,306, visitors from Malaysia rose 420 percent to 1,191.