Colombo, April 6 (NIA) – Over 600,000 tourists have arrived in Sri Lanka in the first three months of this year with a 3.4 percent growth from the previous year, statistics released from Sri Lanka Tourism showed here Thursday.
However due to the partial closure of the country’s international airport in capital Colombo, tourist arrivals in March fell by 2.5 percent with 188,076 arrivals recorded throughout the month.
Sri Lanka’s main Bandaranaike International Airport was closed for three months since January to April due to repairs on its runway. However the airport resumed normal operations from Thursday.
India and China remained the leading markets with the most number of tourist arrivals in the first three months of this year with 27,075 Indian tourists arriving in March followed by 22,172 Chinese tourists.
However visitors from South Asia recorded a -3.7 percent growth from January to March resulting in 116,422 tourists compared to the 120,892 visitors who arrived during the same period last year.
In March, visitors from Western Europe dropped 6.2 percent to 65,640 with the Netherlands rising 24 percent to 3,043 but UK dropping 9.2 percent to 19,451 and Germany dropping 6.5 percent to 15,207.
In the first quarter, Western European arrivals were up 3.7 percent to 214,910, East Asian arrivals were up 7.4 percent to 128,263