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Sri Lanka Posts Tourist Arrival Jump of 12% in Jan 2018 with Chinese, Indian Visitors Leading the Pack

Tourism in Sri Lanka is booming and the latest indicators showed an impressive increase in total tourist arrivals in January 2018. Visitors dropping by the island nation soared by 12 percent, led by holiday makers coming from China and India.

The latter now counts as Sri Lanka’s leading source of foreign visitors as Indian vacationers that toured the nation surged to more than 43,000 by the end of January this year. The numbers amounted to 40 percent hike from the same month in 2017, according to Economy Next.

It was stated in the same report that while tourist arrivals from China remain significantly high, a notable drop was seen at the start of 2018. Nearly 25,000 tourists from the mainland China picked Sri Lanka as their holiday destination during the reported period but the numbers actually retreated by 22 percent when compared to January 2017.

China A Strong Market

Sri Lanka, however, brushed aside the data and insisted that China remains a solid market and in fact accounted for the hundreds of thousands of visitors that flooded the nation in the past months. In 2017, 268,952 Chinese tourists had visited the island, representing a sizeable chunk of the total visitors that the country had attracted in the whole of last year.

More than two million tourists explored the island nation in 2017, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported, citing the statistics provided by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.

By 2020, Colombo is targeting to draw in up to one million tourists from China and the plan is to replicate the numbers going forward. The country’s tourism ministry seems upbeat that Sri Lanka will be among the preferred destinations of Chinese holidaymakers in the immediate years to come, the same report indicated.

Arrivals From Key Markets

In the face of the decrease in tourist arrivals last year, which Sri Lankan authorities blamed on the partial closure of the main airport in the first quarter of 2017, the island still reported visitors flow in that totalled to 2.1 million. The decent numbers can be credited to spikes on tourist arrivals coming Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia.

Guests from India, Pakistan, and Maldives accounted for the more than 54,000 arrivals in Sri Lanka that originated from South Asia. Also, Europeans appeared to have listed the island on their holiday radar as nearly 130,000 visitors from the continent dropped by with Britain and Germany emerging as key markets.