Colombo, March 9 (newsin.asia) – Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka exceeded 200,000 in February, a 19.3 percent growth compared to the same period last year, mainly due to a strong rise from China, statistics from the Sri Lanka Tourism Ministry showed here Friday.
China emerged as the leading market followed by India and the United Kingdom.
A total 35,929 tourists arrived from China in February, a 42.3 percent increase from the same period last year.
India recorded over 32,000 tourists while over 23,000 arrived from the United Kingdom.
So far this year, 474,542 tourists have visited Sri Lanka this year, a 13.8 percent growth compared to last year.
Region wise, Europe continued to be the largest source of tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with a 52 percent growth followed by Asia and Pacific with a 41 growth, America recording a 5 percent growth and Middle East recording a 2 percent growth.
Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said recently that Sri Lanka aims to double the number of tourists to 5 million by 2020 as part of a new tourist strategy to boost earnings of the south Asian island country
Sri Lanka’s tourism industry boomed after the end of civil war in 2009 with arrivals growing to a record 2.3 million at the end of 2017.
Tourism accounts for close to 5 percent of Sri Lanka’s economy. In the first six months of 2017, Sri Lanka earned 1.7 billion U.S. dollars from tourism.