Sept 17, Colombo: Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals jumped by 26.1 percent in August this year compared to the same period last year, the data released Tuesday by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.
The month recorded 100,224 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 79,456 arrived in August 2012.
Tourist arrivals recorded a 14.3 percent increase in the first eight months of this year with 711,446 tourists arriving in the island.
Arrivals from North America rose by 12.6 percent for the month of August. Tourist arrivals from the US increased 8.6 percent in August. During the first eight months of the year overall arrivals from North America rose 8.2 percent to 42,624.
More tourists arrive in Sri Lanka this year from Western Europe than from South Asia. Tourist arrivals from Western Europe reached 281,233 during the first eight months of the year rising 13.9 percent while for the month of August arrivals increased by 19.3 percent to 38,951.
Arrivals from Eastern Europe increased 21.0 percent with the arrival of 46,411 tourists for the year while 4,281 tourists arrived in August, a 8.3 percent increase compared to August 2012. Arrivals from Russia jumped 47.3 percent in August while arrivals dropped from other countries in the region.
Tourist arrivals from Middle East rose again in August by 75.4 percent to 8,683 after falling sharply by nearly 50 percent in July.
The first eight months of 2013 recorded 97,361East Asians as arriving in the island, an increase of 23.6% with China recording a 74.3 percent increase in the year. For the month of August 73.6 percent more Chinese visited the country than last year.
Arrivals from South Asia increased by 12.6 percent with 168,796 tourists visiting the island while, arrivals from India increased 29.2 percent 14,528 in the first eight 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.
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.