Sri Lanka sees rise in tourist arrivals

Colombo, May 4 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 11.6 percent in April to 136,367, from the previous year, figures from the Tourism Promotion Bureau showed on Wednesday.

India remained the top market with 25,890 travellers, a 12.3-percent growth from the previous year, Xinhua news agency reported.

China came second with 18,972 travellers, a 37.6 percent increase from the same period last year.

Visitors from Japan increased 25 percent to 3,172. Western European arrivals were up 12.2 percent to 39,243, with Britain’s arrivals up 6.9 percent to 12,006.

From January to April, 721,185 tourists have visited Sri Lanka. The government expects the year to end with a larger number than the previous year.

The Sri Lankan government has been trying to promote the island nation as a tourist hub with mega tourism promotion campaigns launched worldwide.

The tourism industry has seen an upward trend since the end of the civil war in May 2009.

The Sri Lankan government hopes to attract at least three million tourists by the end of this year and it has set a target of four million by 2020.

–IANS

ksk/mr

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