Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals for the month of February rose 7 percent year-on-year (YoY) to 252, 033, with visitors from Europe accounting for over half of the arrivals, the data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.
Arrivals from Europe rose 11.4 percent YoY to 135, 934, with an increase of tourists from Northern Europe, Western Europe, Central/Eastern Europe and Southern/Mediterranean Europe.
Arrivals from the United Kingdom rose 21.9 percent YoY to 29, 750 while arrivals from Russian Federation rose 18.8 percent YoY to 13, 008. Tourist arrivals from Asia & Pacific fell 3.8 percent during February to 97, 726 as arrivals from China fell 22 percent YoY to 28, 039 due to Chinese lunar holidays.
Arrivals from South Asia fell 2 percent as visitors from India fell 1.9 percent YoY to 32, 286. Tourist arrivals from United States recorded a sharp 61.7 percent YoY increase to 9, 678. Visitors from the Middle East fell 5.2 percent YoY to 3, 691.
According to the SLTDA India, United Kingdom, China, France and Germany were Sri Lanka’s top five international tourist generating markets in the month of February.
India was the largest source of tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with 13 percent of the total traffic received in February 2019. United Kingdom accounted for 12 percent of the total traffic; while China, France and Germany accounted for 11 percent, 7 percent and 7 percent respectively.
Over 95 percent of tourists travelled by air during February.
Sri Lanka attracted 2.3 million tourists in 2018 and expects to attract 3 million tourists this year.
Tourism earnings in the first 11 months of 2018 rose 12.5 percent YoY to US $ 3.9 billion. Tourism authorities expect to close 2018 with estimated earnings of US $ 4.4 billion.
Tourism earnings target for this year has been set at US $ 5 billion. Earnings are calculated based on a survey.