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* Sri Lanka tourist arrivals rise 20.3 percent in May 2014
Fri, Jun 6, 2014, 09:37 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

June 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose by 20.3 percent in May this year compared to the same period in 2013, the data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.

The month recorded 90,046 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 74,838 arrived in May 2013.

In the first five months of this year a total of 624,178 tourists arrived in the island recording a 26.5 percent increase from the 493,294 came during the corresponding period in 2013.

Most of the tourists arrived from Western Europe with 200,605 tourist arrivals in the first five months of this year recording an 18 percent increase over corresponding 2013 figures.

Arrivals from North America rose by 12.3 percent with 28,699 visitors for the first five months in the year while arrivals from Eastern Europe increased 46.6 percent with the arrival of 82,271 tourists. Most of the arrivals from Eastern Europe were from Russia with 36,655 arrivals increasing by 77.4 percent.

Tourist arrivals from Middle East rose in May by 34.8 percent to 5,016 and for the year 28,708 tourists arrived from the region.

In the first five months of the year 108,867 East Asians arrived in the island, an increase of 51.9 percent. Number of Chinese tourists arriving in the island jumped by an impressive139.6 percent and reached 43,885.

Arrivals from South Asia, the other region from where most of the tourists come, increased by 19.4 percent in the year with 145,373 tourists visiting the island while, arrivals from India increased 22.3 percent to 64,327 in May.

In the first five months of the year, 20,539 Australians arrived in the country, an 11.1 percent increase from the previous year.

Sri Lanka has earned US$ 609 million from tourism in the first three months of this year, an increase of 34.0 percent compared to last year.

Sri Lanka met its tourist arrival target of 1.2 million for the year 2013 with the numbers up 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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