COLOMBO: Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka for the month of April rose 12.6 percent year-on-year (YoY) to 180, 429 amid higher arrivals from Asia & Pacific and Europe, the data released by Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.
Arrivals from Asia & Pacific, which include North East Asia, South East Asia, Oceania and South Asia grew 8.5 percent YoY to 82, 976, with South Asia accounting for the larger share.
Arrivals from South Asian nations rose 4.7 percent YoY to 38, 299 with India leading the pack with 29, 860 tourists, up 13.4 percent YoY.
Arrivals from China, which represents the North East Asia region, dropped 11.9 percent YoY to 17, 462. Japanese arrivals also grew by only 3.2 percent YoY to 3, 512.
Arrivals from Oceania, which include mainly Australia and New Zealand saw a 101.3 percent YoY surge to 15, 585. A large Sri Lankan expatriate community lives in both Australia and Sri Lanka and they tend to visit Sri Lanka during April to celebrate Avurudu with their family members living here.
Tourist arrivals from Europe during the month of April rose 9.7 percent YoY to 76, 366, led by United Kingdom and Germany. Tourists from UK rose 46.1 percent YoY to 26, 063 while arrivals from Germany fell by 9 percent YoY to 10, 803.
Arrivals from Central and Eastern European countries fell 7.2 percent YoY 11, 597 with tourists from Russian Federation declining 12.5 percent YoY to 4, 027.
Tourists from Middle East fell 26.1 percent YoY to 3, 736 with lower arrivals from all the countries in the region except for Bahrain. The anti-Muslim riots that broke out in Sri Lanka’s central hills may have contributed to this decline.
Tourist arrivals from Indonesia, which is the world’s largest Islamic nation, also fell 81.3 percent YoY to 352.
Meanwhile, for the first four months of this year, tourist arrivals rose 16.1 percent YoY 888, 353.
Sri Lanka achieved 2.1 million tourists in 2017 despite the partial closure of the country’s main airport for about three months. The floods and the dengue epidemic also contributed to the lower than expected arrivals.
The government aims to attract three million tourists this year.