Sri Lanka records increase in tourist arrivals

Sri Lanka has recorded an increase in the number of tourist arrivals to the country in March, data released by the Tourist Board on Wednesday said.

According to the data the most number of tourists to visit Sri Lanka in March was from Western Europe while visitors from neighboring South Asian countries saw a drop when compared to last year.

Overall Sri Lanka recorded 91,102 arrivals in March this year as compared to 83,549 in February and 85,874 in January.

The Tourist Board said that March arrivals this year saw an increase of 21.3 percent from March last year and had also surpassed the overall total for the first quarter recorded last year.

In 2011 Sri Lanka saw a total of 215,124 tourist arrivals during the first quarter while this year the figure during that same period stands at 260,525 which is a 21.1 percent increase.

Overall in 2011 Sri Lanka saw a record 855,975 tourist arrivals but with the current trend that figure is expected to be surpassed this year.

According to the Tourist Board 40,686 tourists arrived from Western Europe in March this year while the second highest was from South Asia with a distant 19,516 arrivals.

With the end of a 30 year war between the Sri Lankan military and Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009 tourist arrivals to the country has seen a continuous rise.

The Sri Lankan government has been setting up new resorts and hotels along the coastal belt to meet the demand for accommodation as tourist arrivals sour.

The government wants to add 35,000 rooms within the next four years to meet the projected demand of 2.5 million foreign visitors.


Arrivals data:

Page 1 mar20 12 -Colo

Page 1 mar20 12 -Colo