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* Sri Lanka tourist arrivals rise 14.3 percent in June 2014
Wed, Jul 2, 2014, 11:31 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

July 02, Colombo: Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose by 14.3 percent in June this year compared to the same period in 2013, the data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.

The month recorded 103,175 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 90,279 arrived in June 2013.

In the first six months of this year a total of 727,353 tourists arrived in the island recording a 24.6 percent increase from the 583,573 came during the corresponding period in 2013.

Most of the tourist arrivals were from Western Europe with 223,810 tourists visiting in the first six months of this year recording a 17 percent increase over corresponding 2013 figures.

Arrivals from North America rose by 12.2 percent with 35,588 visitors for the first six months in the year while arrivals from Eastern Europe increased 44.8 percent with the arrival of 86,580 tourists. Most of the arrivals from Eastern Europe were from Russia with 38,732 arrivals representing a 74.8 percent increase.

Tourist arrivals from Middle East fell in June by 12 percent to 9,895 but for the year arrivals increased by 9.5 percent to 38,603.

In the first six months of the year 30,867 East Asians arrived in the island, an increase of 50.3 percent. Number of Chinese tourists arriving in the island rose by an impressive 137.2 percent to reach 52,230.

Arrivals from South Asia, the other region from where most of the tourists come, increased by 18.3 percent in the year with 176,323 tourists visiting the island while, arrivals from India increased 23.6 percent to 114,238 in the first six months of 2014.

In the first six months of the year, 24,969 Australians arrived in the country, a 10.7 percent increase from the previous year.

Sri Lanka has earned US$ 771.7 million from tourism in the first four months of this year, an increase of 37.0 percent compared to last year.

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