Sri Lanka crossed the 200, 000 tourist arrival mark for a single month again as arrivals in August rose 4.9 percent year-on-year (YoY) to 200, 359, the data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.
This was the fifth time this year where Sri Lanka was able to cross the 200, 000 arrival mark for a single month.
SLTDA said the largest source market for the month was India, followed by China, France and Germany.
India was the largest source of tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with 16 percent of the total traffic received in August 2018. China accounted for 13 percent of the total traffic, while United Kingdom, France and Germany accounted for 12 percent, 6 percent and 5 percent respectively.
In terms of regions, Asia and Pacific continued to be the largest source of tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with 47 percent of the total traffic received in August 2018.
Europe accounted for 41 percent of the total traffic, Middle East 6 percent, America 5 percent and Africa 0.5 percent.
Tourist arrivals from Asia Pacific rose 3 percent YoY to 94, 965 in August. Tourists from India rose 2.9 percent YoY to 32, 115 while arrivals from China increased marginally by 0.2 percent YoY to 26, 558.
Arrivals from Oceania, mainly consisting of Australia and New Zealand, rose 36.7 percent YoY to 9, 381.
Visitors from Europe rose 12.1 percent YoY to 82, 167. Arrivals from UK rose 7.9 percent YoY to 23, 643 while arrivals from France increased 2.7 percent YoY to 11, 016. Tourists from Germany however fell 1.7 percent YoY to 10, 809.
Arrivals from Eastern and Central Europe led by Russia and Ukraine rose 11 percent YoY to 5, 811.
An 18 percent YoY decline to 11, 814 was also seen in tourist arrivals from the Middle East during the month of August.
Tourist arrivals from Americas rose 3.7 percent to 10, 340 while arrivals from Africa rose 3.9 percent YoY to 1, 073.
For the first eight months of the year, Sri Lanka has attracted 1.58 million tourists, up 12.5 percent YoY.
The Tourism Minister is hopeful that Sri Lanka could attract 3 million tourists this year. According to the Central Bank data tourism industry earned US$ 1.9 billion during the first five months of the year.
Tourist arrivals in 2017 hit an all-time high of 2.11 million, which represented a 3.2 percent growth YoY. Tourism revenues rose by a similar percentage to an all-time peak of US$3.63 billion.
The government has set a US$ 4.5 billion earnings target for the industry this year.
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