Dec 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose marginally by 0.2 percent in November this year compared to the same period last year, surpassing 1.8 million arrivals for the year, the data released today by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.
The month recorded 167,511 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 167,217 arrived in November 2016.
In the first eleven months of this year 1,871,871 tourists visited the island compared to the 1,826,041 visited in November 2016, recording an overall increase of 2.5 percent.
Arrivals from North America rose significantly by 14.5 percent to 7,635 in November and the arrivals from Canada rose 22.3 percent to 2,992 during the month while arrivals from the U.S. increased by 9.9 percent to 4,643.
Tourist arrivals from Western Europe declined for the second consecutive month by 1.4 percent reaching 45,903 during the month from the 46,565 tourists arrived in the same month last year. Most of the tourists came from UK (13,634), and Germany (9,891). Tourist arrivals from Germany and France decreased by 11.5 percent and 4.6 percent respectively while 2.2 more tourists arrived from the UK.
Arrivals from Eastern Europe declined 12.3 percent with the arrival of 18,636 tourists in November 2017. Tourist arrivals from Russia dropped by 7.1 percent while 24.0 percent fewer tourists arrived from Ukraine.
Tourist arrivals from Middle East increased declined 30.4 percent with 5,066 visitors.
Tourist arrivals from East Asia increased 14.2 percent as 36,087 visited the country. Arrivals from China increased 3.5 percent with 19,237 tourists arriving in the country in November 2017.
Arrivals from South Asia in the month declined 2.7 percent with 45,061 tourists visiting the island. Of those arrived from South Asia, 32,243 were from India corresponding to an increase of 6.9 percent.
Earnings from tourism grew by 2.9 percent, year-on-year to an estimated US$ 2.66 billion in the first nine months of 2017, according to the Central Bank.
Nearly 1.8 million tourists arrived in Sri Lanka last year contributing US$ 2.86 billion of earnings to the government. Sri Lanka's Tourism Authority has set a target of 2.5 million tourist arrivals this year.