Oct 11, Colombo: Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals jumped by 26.2 percent in September this year compared to the same period last year, the data released Friday by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.
The month recorded 89,761tourists arriving in the country compared to the 71,111 arrived in September 2012.
Tourist arrivals recorded a 15.5 percent increase in the first nine months of this year with 801,210 tourists arriving in the island.
Arrivals from North America rose by 14.1 percent for the month of September. Tourist arrivals from the US increased 20.4 percent in September. During the first nine months of the year overall arrivals from North America rose 8.7 percent to 46,455.
More tourists arrive in Sri Lanka this year from Western Europe than from South Asia. Tourist arrivals from Western Europe reached 307,831 during the first nine months of the year rising 14.4 percent while for the month of September arrivals increased by 19.1 percent to 26,598.
Arrivals from Eastern Europe increased 23.3 percent with the arrival of 53,057tourists for the year while 6,646 tourists arrived in September, a 42.2 percent increase compared to September 2012. Arrivals from Russia jumped 70.9 percent in September.
Tourist arrivals from Middle East rose again in September by 36.7 percent to 5,695 while for the year arrivals increased by 7.5 percent to 41,626.
The nine eight months of 2013 recorded 112,065East Asians as arriving in the island, an increase of 25.2 percent with China recording a 75.4 percent increase in the year. For the month of September 81.2 percent more Chinese visited the country than last year.
Arrivals from South Asia increased by 14.9 percent in the year with 195,195 tourists visiting the island while, arrivals from India increased 7.8 percent 131,589 in the first nine months of 2013.
From January to July this year Sri Lanka has earned US$ 674.1 million from tourism, 20.3 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.
However, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority downgraded the target number of arrivals for this year from an original estimate of 1.25 million to 1.1 million.
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.