Feb 07, Colombo: Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 12.6 percent in January this year compared to the same period last year, the data released today by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.
The month recorded 246,972 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 219,360 arrived in January 2017.
Arrivals from North America rose 20.1 percent to 12,631 in January and the arrivals from US rose 18.2 percent to 7,277 during the month.
Tourist arrivals from Western Europe reached 83,824 during the month, a 14.9 percent increase from the 72,500 tourists arrived in the same month last year. Most of the tourists came from UK (22,410), followed by Germany (14,985), and France (12,209).
Arrivals from Eastern Europe increased 15.1 percent with the arrival of 30,550 tourists in January 2018 with arrivals from Russia rising 12.5 percent and from Ukraine 12.7 percent during the month.
Tourist arrivals from Middle East increased 25.2 percent with 11,199 visitors.
Tourist arrivals from East Asia declined 15.0 percent as 41,462 visited the country compared to the 48,773 visited in January 2017. Arrivals from China declined 22.0 percent with 24,819 tourists arriving in the country last month.
Arrivals from South Asia this year saw a significant increase of 32.2 percent with 54,815 tourists visiting the island. Of those arrived from South Asia, 43,643 were from India corresponding to an increase of 40.0 percent this year.
Over 2.1 million tourists arrived in Sri Lanka last year contributing US$ 3.2 billion of earnings to the government revenues during the first eleven months of 2017.
Despite serious set-backs to the tourism industry right throughout the year with the partial closure of the airport in the first four months of the year and floods afterwards in the south, Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose modestly by 3.2 percent in 2017 from the year before with the arrival of 2,116,407 tourists, short of the target of 2.5 million for the year.