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* Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up by 17.5 percent in March
Tue, Apr 8, 2014, 02:21 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 08, Colombo: Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose by 17.5 percent in March this year compared to the same period in 2013, the data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.

The month recorded 133,048 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 113,208 arrived in March 2013.

In the first three months of this year a total of 421,501 tourists arrived in the island recording a 24.8 percent increase from the 337,719 came during the corresponding period in 2013.

Arrivals from North America rose by 10.7 percent with 18,440 visitors for the first three months in the year while 143,760 tourist arrivals were recorded from Western Europe rising 12.6 percent.

Arrivals from Eastern Europe increased 56.5 percent with the arrival of 66,421 tourists for the year while arrivals from Russia increased by 89.8 percent to 29,371.

Tourist arrivals from Middle East rose in March by 18.8 percent to 6,629.

The first three months of the year recorded 72,639 East Asians as arriving in the island, an increase of 53.0 percent. China recorded a 127.8 percent increase with the arrival of 28,798 in the first three months of the year.

Arrivals from South Asia increased by 15.9 percent in March 2014 with 71,710 tourists visiting the island while, arrivals from India increased 22.6 percent to 18,734 in March.

In the first three months of the year, 12,467 Australians arrived in the country, a 3.1 percent increase from the previous year.

Sri Lanka met its tourist arrival target of 1.2 million for the year 2013wih the numbers risen by 26.7 percent from the 1,005,605 arrived in 2012 and earning US$ 1.23 billion in the first 11 months of 2013.

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