Nov 09, Colombo: Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 1.3 percent in October this year compared to the same period last year, inching to 1.7 million arrivals for the year, the data released today by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.
The month recorded 152,429 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 150,419 arrived in October 2016.
In the first ten months of this year 1,704,360 tourists visited the island compared to the 1,658,824 visited in October 2016, recording an overall increase of 2.7 percent.
Arrivals from North America rose 2.8 percent to 5,939 in October and the arrivals from Canada rose 2.7 percent to 2,408 during the month while arrivals from the U.S. increased by 2.9 percent to 3,531.
Tourist arrivals from Western Europe declined marginally by 0.9 percent reaching 42,416 during the month from the 42,790 tourists arrived in the same month last year. Most of the tourists came from UK (12,518), and Germany (10,180). Tourist arrivals from Germany and France decreased by 16.9 percent and 12.3 percent respectively while 14.2 more tourists arrived from the UK.
Arrivals from Eastern Europe declined 14.2 percent with the arrival of 10,393 tourists in October 2017. Tourist arrivals from Russia dropped by 15.8 percent while 22.3 percent fewer tourists arrived from Ukraine.
Tourist arrivals from Middle East increased declined 17.1 percent with 4,662 visitors.
Tourist arrivals from East Asia increased 10.4 percent as 34,870 visited the country. Arrivals from China increased 6.2 percent with 21,846 tourists arriving in the country in October 2017.
Arrivals from South Asia in the month marginally increased by 0.4 percent with 46,763 tourists visiting the island. Of those arrived from South Asia, 36,996 were from India corresponding to an increase of 1.4 percent.
Earnings from tourism grew by 3.5 percent, year-on-year to US$ 2.41 billion in the first eight 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.