COLOMBO, Dec 7 (NIA) – Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka rose by 16 percent last month, compared to the previous year, with India and China remaining the leading markets, statistics from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority showed here on Wednesday.
China has recorded a 10.5 percent growth from the previous year as over 18,000 tourists visited the country in November.
India recorded a 2.5 percent growth from Nov 2015, with over 30,000 visitors arriving last month.
Over 1.8 million tourists have arrived in the island country this year and the government has said it hopes to achieve a target of atleast 2 million tourists by year end.
In November alone, 167,217 tourists arrived in Sri Lanka, a 16 percent rise from the 144,147 who arrived within the same month last year.
Visitors from Germany also grew 10.6 percent to 11,172 and visitors from France was up 3.6 percent to 5,845.
UK arrivals were up 23 percent to 13,337 while Russia was up by 15 percent to 8,461.
The Sri Lankan government has said it is expecting a heavy influx of tourists next year with the main markets being China, India and Europe.
However, Russia’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Alexander Karchava said this week that Sri Lanka’s pricing policy was too exorbitant when compared to similar countries such as Thailand and urged the government to adopt a ‘Thai pricing Policy’ in order to attract more Russian tourists.
He said Sri Lanka’s tourism sector had the potential to do better.