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* Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up by 15.5 percent in October
Sat, Nov 17, 2012, 11:53 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 17, Colombo: Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 15.5 percent in October this year compared to the same period last year, the data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.

The month recorded 80,379 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 69,563 arrived in October 2011.

Arrivals during the first ten months of the year increased 16 percent to 774,151 from the 667,569 arrived in the same period last year.

Arrivals from North America rose 50.3 percent to 4,226 in October with Canada rising 22.9 percent to 2,332 and USA rising 19.1 percent to 1,894. For the first nine months of 2012, North American arrival rose by 21.0 percent to 46,963.

Tourist arrivals from Western Europe reached 293,472 during the first ten months of 2012, a 17.0 percent increase from the 250,847 tourists arrived in the same period of last year. However, arrivals for October increased only 1.9 percent from 23,857 in 2011 to 24,303 this year.

Arrivals from Eastern Europe increased 51.6 percent from January through October 2012 with the arrival of 50,087 tourists.

Tourist arrivals from Middle East declined 1.3 percent from 44,522 to 43,945 during the first ten months.

Arrivals from South Asia for this year increased moderately. In the first ten months 193,465 South Asians visited Sri Lanka, a 3.1 percent increase from the same period in previous year. Of the 23,538 arrived in October 2012, a majority, 17,654 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.

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