July 13, Colombo: Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 21.6 percent in June this year compared to the same period last year, the data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Friday showed.
The month recorded 65,245 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 53,636 arrived in June 2011.
Tourist arrivals from Western Europe reached 172,602 during the first half of this year, a 20.3 percent increase from the 143,454 tourists arrived in the same period of last year.
Arrivals from South Asia increased 4.6 percent in the first six months of 2012 compared to the same period last year. Of the 19,993 arrived in June 2012, a majority, 13,978 were from India.
Sri Lanka targets one million tourist arrivals this year. SLTDA statistics have recorded 855,975 tourist arrivals in 2011 compared to the 654,476 arrived in 2010.
Since the end of the war against the Tamil Tiger terrorists in May 2009, the country has seen increasing tourist arrivals every year for the past three years.
During the first five months of 2012, revenue from tourism has risen 26 percent from the same period last year to $399 million, the Central Bank data showed.
Sri Lanka launched an ambitious five-year plan under the guidance of the Economic Development Minister to boost tourism in the country. Under the plan Sri Lanka expects to raise the number of arrivals to 2.5 million and to earn annual revenue of US$ 2.75 billion by 2016.