Tourist arrivals up 24%; S. Asian region contributes most

4 December 2015 03:20 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka increased 20.4 percent year-on-year (YoY) to 144,147 in November, with most major markets recording a positive growth.
South Asia was the largest regional market, growing 32.7 percent YoY to 41,318 arrivals. Indian arrivals surged 48.4 percent YoY to 29,329, claiming the largest source market. Maldivian arrivals fell marginally by 1.7 percent YoY to 8,190 tourists.
Western Europe came up as the 2nd largest regional market with 40,006 arrivals, growing 11.4 percent YoY. British arrivals increased just 0.9 percent YoY to 10,822, while German arrivals rose 11.6 percent YoY to 10,103, and 5,641 French tourists arrived, increasing 3.5 percent YoY.
Arrivals from East Asia increased 30.9 percent YoY to 28,017. Chinese inbound tourist numbers increased to 16,830, improving 54.7 percent YoY. Japanese arrivals fell 0.2 percent YoY to 2,514 while Malaysian arrivals rose 13.2 percent to 2,285. The stabilizing Eastern European region contributed 17,199 tourists, growing 8.5 percent YoY. Russian arrivals increased 1.1 percent YoY to 7,360 while arrivals from the Ukraine grew 8.4 percent YoY to 2,876.
Arrivals from the extremely long haul North American market grew 23.4 percent YoY to 6,096, with US-based arrivals increasing 21.2 percent YoY to 3,576, while 2,520 Canadian travellers arrived, increasing 26.6 percent YoY.
Australasian tourist numbers increased 7.4 percent YoY to 5,322, with arrivals from Australia increasing 4.9 percent YoY to 4,641. Arrivals from the Middle East improved 11.1 percent YoY to 4,807, with Saudi Arabia contributing 1,263 tourists, declining 4.9 percent YoY.
For the 11 months so far this year, 1.59 million tourists have visited Sri Lanka, with a growth of 18.1 percent YoY. This shows that the country must attract 207,743 tourists in December to achieve the 1.8 million tourists target for this year.
Tourism and Christian Affairs Minister John Amaratunga had placed the target at 2 million for 2015 in an interview with Mirror Business.
In December 2014, 178,672 tourists had arrived, with a growth of 16.1 percent YoY. Since December is the peak period, the 1.8 million target could possibly be achieved.
However, seasonality is seen to be disappearing with high tourist arrival figures recorded in previous off-peak periods through Chinese arrivals.
Western Europe was the largest market from January to November with 489,914 arrivals signifying a 15.8 percent YoY growth. South Asian arrivals increased 23.9 percent YoY to 403,029, while East Asian arrivals jumped up 31.4 percent YoY to 330,119.
East European arrivals for the 11 months fell 3.7 percent YoY to 129,222 due to instability in the region, while the Middle Eastern market grew 10.6 percent YoY to 93,895 arrivals despite instability in that region, helped by arrivals from Saudi Arabia.
North American arrivals increased 16.6 percent YoY to 73,160, while the Australasian inbound tourist figures edged up 9.1 percent YoY to 58,017. (CW)

 
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