Sri Lanka tops 1 million tourist arrivals

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Colombo, July 6 (IANS) Over one million tourists arrived in Sri Lanka in the first six months of 2017, with China and India being the leading markets, statistics from the Sri Lanka Tourism Bureau showed on Thursday.

This June recorded a 4.5 percent growth with the arrival of 123,351 tourists compared to the same period last year while 1,010,444 tourists arrived from January to June, statistics revealed, reported Xinhua news agency.

India recorded the highest number of tourist arrivals with 27,836 followed by China with 17,205.

Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said last week that Sri Lanka was depending on the Chinese market to boost its tourist arrivals and the country was encouraging more Chinese to visit the island country.

Amaratunga added the industry was confident to achieve 2.5 million tourists this year and preparations had been put in place to welcome an influx of tourists from September.

Tourism has become the second highest earner of foreign exchange. Last year, over two million tourists arrived in Sri Lanka.

–IANS

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