Aug 28, Colombo: Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 905 percent in July this year compared to the same period last year, the data released Wednesday by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.
The month recorded 98,944 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 90,338 arrived in July 2012.
Tourist arrivals recorded a 12.5 percent increase in the first seven months of this year with 611,222 tourists arriving in the island.
Arrivals from North America dropped by 8.5 percent for the month of July mainly due to the 16.8 percent drop in tourists arriving from Canada. Tourist arrivals from the US increased 2.9 percent in July. However, during the first seven months of the year overall arrivals from North America rose 7.6 percent to 36,986.
Tourist arrivals from Western Europe reached 242,282 during the first seven months of the year rising 13.1 percent while for the month of July arrivals increased by 10.5 percent to 45,930.
Arrivals from Eastern Europe increased 22.4 percent with the arrival of 42,130 for the year while 4,433 tourists arrived in July, 36.6 percent increase compared to July 2012.
Tourist arrivals from Middle East fell sharply by nearly 50 percent in July to 2,751 while for the year a 7.9 percent decline was observed.
The first seven months of 2013 recorded 81,817 East Asians as arriving in the island, an increase of 21.9% with China recording a 74.4 percent increase in the year. For the month of July 84.4 percent more Chinese visited the country than last year.
Arrivals from South Asia increased by 9.8 percent with 146,588 tourists visiting the island while, arrivals from India increased 30 percent 15,032 in the first seven months of 2013.
In the first seven months of this year Sri Lanka has earned US$ 565.3 million from tourism, 22.9 percent more than for the same period last year.
Sri Lanka fulfilled its target of one million tourist arrivals last year and earned over US$ 1 billion from tourism. The country targets 2.5 million tourist arrivals by 2016.
Since the end of the war against the Tamil Tiger terrorists in May 2009, the country has seen steady rise in tourist arrivals every year for the past four years.