Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 24.1percent in March this year compared to the same period last year, the data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.
The month recorded 233,382 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 188,076 arrived in March 2017.
As at 31st March 2018, 707,924 tourists had visited Sri Lanka for this year. It is a 17.1 percent growth over last year when 604,953 tourists had visited the country during the same period.
Europe continued to be the largest source of tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with 53 percent of the total traffic received in March 2018. Asia and the Pacific accounted for 38 percent of the total traffic, America 7 percent, Middle East 1 percent and Africa 1 percent.
India, United Kingdom, Germany, China and France were Sri Lanka’s top five international tourist generating markets in the month of March this year. India was the largest source of tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with 13 percent of the total traffic received in March 2018. United Kingdom accounted for 13 percent of the total traffic, while Germany, China and France accounted for 11 percent, 9 percent and 6 percent respectively.
Arrivals from North America rose 59 percent to 14,994 in March and the arrivals from US rose 83.3 percent to 9,701 during the month.
Tourist arrivals from Western Europe reached 51,839 during the month, a 48.3 percent increase from the 46,621 tourists arrived in the same month last year. Most of the tourists came from UK (30,366), followed by Germany (24,423), and France (14,818).
Arrivals from Central and Eastern Europe increased 17.7 percent with the arrival of 21,861 tourists in March 2018 with arrivals from Russia rising 28.1 percent during the month.
Tourist arrivals from Middle East declined 26.6 percent with the arrival of 3,520 visitors.
Tourist arrivals from North East Asia declined 1.2 percent as 27,854 visited the country compared to the 28,188 visited in March 2017. Arrivals from China declined 4.8 percent with 21,101tourists arriving in the country last month.
Arrivals from South Asia this year increased only 1.4 percent with 42,639 tourists visiting the island. Of those arrived from South Asia, 30,583 were from India corresponding to an increase of 13.0 percent.
Over 2.1 million tourists arrived in Sri Lanka last year contributing US$ 3.9 billion of earnings to the government revenues.