Sept 08, Colombo: Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 2.5 percent in August this year compared to the same period last year, surpassing the 1.4 million arrivals for the year, the data released today by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.
The month recorded 190,928 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 186,288 arrived in August 2016.
In the first eight months of this year 1,406,854 tourists visited the island compared to the 1,359,906 visited in August 2016, recording an increase of 3.5 percent.
Arrivals from North America rose 4.1 percent to 9,478 in August and the arrivals from Canada rose 9.0 percent to 5,496 during the month while arrivals from the U.S. declined 1.9 percent to 3,982.
Tourist arrivals from Western Europe reached 65,949 during the month rising 1.6 percent from the 64,942 tourists arrived in the same month last year. Most of the tourists came from UK (21,903), Germany (10,993) and France (10,730).
Arrivals from Eastern Europe declined 22.9 percent with the arrival of 5,711 tourists in August 2017. Tourist arrivals from Russia dropped by 49.3 percent while 20.2 percent more tourists arrived from Ukraine.
Tourist arrivals from Middle East increased declined 12.9 percent with 16,336 visitors.
Tourist arrivals from East Asia increased 2.4 percent as 42,417 visited the country. Arrivals from China declined 3.7 percent with 26,507 tourists arriving in the country in August 2017.
Arrivals from South Asia in the month increased with 42,649 tourists visiting the island. Of those arrived from South Asia, 31,220 were from India corresponding to an increase of 27.9 percent.
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.
Earnings from tourism grew by 4.8 percent, year-on-year to US$ 1.73 billion in first half of 2017, according to the Central Bank.