Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka during the month of November rose 9.4 percent year-on-year (YoY) to 119,727 visitors while total arrivals for the first 11 months of the year stood at 1.34 million, up 20.3 percent YoY, the official tourism data showed. Sri Lanka targets 1.5 million tourists at the end of this year and 2.5 million by 2016. To achieve this year’s target Sri Lanka needs 151,519 tourists visiting the country in December. The highest number of tourists recorded for this year for a month was 146,575 in January.
Tourist arrivals in November were boosted by a higher number of visitors mainly from Western Europe and East Asia.The East Asian arrivals recorded a 47.6 percent YoY increase during the month to 21,398, led by Chinese tourists. Arrivals from China, which includes Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, rose 125 percent YoY to 10,878.China is the third largest tourist market for Sri Lanka country-wise. Total Chinese arrivals rose 137.6 percent YoY to 117,766 during the first 11 months of 2014.
Arrivals from Japan, which is among the top 10 tourism source markets, rose 299 percent YoY to 2,518.South Asian arrivals in November remained flat at 35,135, led by Indian arrivals, which again remained flat at 19,762. India is leading among the top 10 tourism source markets for Sri Lanka. During the first 11 months of 2014, arrivals from India rose 16.3 percent YoY to 216,581.Arrivals from the Maldives improved 8.5 percent YoY to 8329. Visitors from Pakistan fell 27 percent YoY to 1,819.
Arrivals from Western Europe, Sri Lanka’s largest tourism market as a region, rose 12.8 percent YoY to 35,915. Arrivals from the UK, Sri Lanka’s second biggest market country-wise, rose 11 percent YoY to 10,730 with arrivals from Germany, the fourth largest market, increasing 17.3 percent YoY to 9,049. Tourists from France rose 9 percent YoY to 5,448.
Meanwhile, visitors from Eastern Europe, Sri Lanka’s fourth largest market as a region, fell 4.9 percent YoY 15,850 with arrivals from Ukraine dipping 42.6 percent YoY to 2,654. Political unrest in Ukraine is likely to have caused this decline. In October this year too, arrivals from Ukraine fell over 52 percent.