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Tourist arrivals fall 2.5% in May


8 June 2017 12:01 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka fell 2.5 percent year-on-year (YoY) to 121,981, with resumption of high growth of Chinese arrivals remaining the key positive highlight, putting immense pressure on the government, which hasn’t conducted a proper promotional campaign for years. 
The start of the Ramadan period in late May resulted in arrivals from all Islamic countries falling during the month. At the same time, other source markets did not appear to have been too enthusiastic about the celebration of the UN Vesak Day in Sri Lanka in May. South Asia, which is historically the highest regional customer for Sri Lanka, during the month remained on the top spot with 43,511 tourist arrivals, although the growth was a negative 7.7 percent YoY.
Arrivals from India fell 0.3 percent YoY to 34,167, while arrivals from the other major South Asian source markets—all Islamic countries—fell.
East Asian arrivals picked up 13.2 percent YoY to reach 31,269, on the back of a 15.6 percent YoY growth in tourist arrivals from China, which totalled to 18,494. 

Japanese arrivals witnessed a growth of 27.5 percent YoY with 2,848 tourists. Arrivals from Islamic markets in the region fell. Western Europe, which usually shows a comparative lull in absolute numbers during this period, despite high growth witnessed in recent years, grew just 0.2 percent YoY to reach 26,892 arrivals.
The biggest impact was from Germany, from where arrivals fell 16.3 percent YoY to 6,351, while the UK market grew 1.3 percent YoY to 8,520.
Arrivals from Eastern Europe fell 9 percent YoY to 4,835 tourists, with a 29.3 percent fall in Russian arrivals, while 1,464 tourists from Ukraine visited Sri Lanka, growing 20.7 percent YoY.
Middle Eastern arrivals fell 46.1 percent YoY to 3,236. Arrivals from the US fell 2.6 percent YoY to 6,676 while Australasian arrivals grew 7.9 percent to 4,368.
Arrivals to Sri Lanka for the first five months of 2017 grew just 4.8 percent YoY, with the country attracting 887,093 tourists. This means that tourist arrivals to the country would have to grow at nearly 34 percent YoY to achieve the government forecast of 2.5 million tourists for 2017. Arrivals from Western Europe until May increased 8.7 percent YoY to 297,106 with strong growth from the UK.
South Asian arrivals for the five months fell 4.4 percent YoY to 196,291, with low volumes of arrivals seen from India and the Maldives.
East Asian arrivals however increased 8.4 percent YoY to 191,654 mainly due to increased arrivals from China, Japan and Indonesia.
Arrivals from Eastern Europe for the first five months of the year increased 12.1 percent YoY to 87,372 while arrivals from the Middle East fell 12.2 percent YoY to 32,402. 



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