Jan 03, Colombo: Sri Lanka received 2.3 million tourists last year with a healthy growth of 10.3 percent despite missing the target of 2.5 million for the year.
Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals during the year 2018 has registered a healthy growth of 10.3% reaching 2.3 million tourists compared to 2.1 million tourist arrivals in 2017, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) said Thursday.
The month of December recorded the highest number of arrivals of 253,169 for the year 2018, up 3.5% from a year earlier.
India, China, Britain and Germany continued to be the leading markets in 2018 while a significant growth was also seen from Australia.
Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga said Sri Lanka would have achieved the originally-set target of 2.5 million arrivals target, or surpassed it, if not for the political crisis prevailed after October 26.
"Although the tourist arrivals for the year 2018 was fallen slightly short due to the political instability we saw post Oct. 26, I think in terms of earnings we have reached the 3.5 billion dollar target," Minister Amaratunga said.
The Minister said Sri Lanka can achieve four million tourist arrivals and $5 billion income by the end of this year if the country can go forward without political obstacles or disruptions.