The number of tourists who visited Sri Lanka in November 2017 totalled 167,511, recording a 0.2 percent growth compared to 12 months ago amidst a mixed performance in the key markets.
Western Europe was the largest regional market for Sri Lanka during the month with 45,903 tourists, although this was a 1.4 percent decline year-on-year (YoY).
The British market grew by 2.2 percent YoY to 13,645 tourists, although the equally important German market continued its decline, falling by 11.5 percent YoY to 9,891 tourists. The French market fell by 4.6 percent YoY to 5,574 tourists.
The second largest regional source of tourists—South Asia— too contributed less towards Sri Lanka’s tourism industry in November, with the market falling 2.7 percent YoY to 45,061 tourists. This was due to a 17.9 percent fall in arrivals from the Maldives.
However, arrivals from the single largest country where Sri Lanka sources its tourists from—India— remained resilient, growing at 6.9 percent YoY to 32,243 tourists.
Meanwhile, arrivals from East Asia increased by 14.2 percent YoY to 36,087 tourists, on the back of arrivals from Indonesia growing at 209.8 percent YoY to 3,795 tourists. Arrivals from China totalled 19,237 visitors, showing an improvement of 3.5 percent YoY.
Arrivals from Eastern Europe fell by 12.3 percent YoY, with 18,636 tourists visiting Sri Lanka. Both the Russian and Ukraine markets recorded deficits during November.
Meanwhile, in the smaller regional markets, arrivals from the Middle East fell by 30.4 percent YoY to 5,066 tourists. Arrivals from Australasia and the US grew at double digits, bringing in 7,613 and 7,635 tourists, respectively.
Over the 11 months so far in 2017, arrivals to Sri Lanka grew by 2.5 percent YoY to 1.87 million tourists. Western Europe contributed nearly a third towards this and the market grew at mid-single digits, despite the reduced interest from German tourists.
East Asia contributed 406,062 tourists, growing at 4.4 percent YoY despite the marginal fall in Chinese arrivals, while arrivals from South Asia fell by 0.4 percent to 452,179 tourists over the fall in arrivals from the Maldives and other regional countries, despite a higher number of Indians holidaying in the island.
Sri Lanka was hoping to achieve 2.5 million tourists for this year but the closure of the country’s main airport for about four months, the dengue outbreak and floods slowed down the tourist arrivals to the country.