Peaceful Sri Lanka records increase in touristsApril 18th, 2012 - 5:29 pm ICT by IANS
Colombo, April 18 (IANS) Sri Lanka has recorded an increase in the number of tourist arrivals in March, according to data released by the Tourist Board Wednesday.
The most number of tourists to visit Sri Lanka in March was from Western Europe while visitors from neighbouring South Asian countries saw a drop compared with last year, reported Xinhua.
Overall Sri Lanka recorded 91,102 arrivals in March this year compared with 83,549 in February and 85,874 in January.
The Tourist Board said that March arrivals this year saw an increase of 21.3 percent from March last year.
Sri Lanka saw a total of 215,124 tourist arrivals in the first quarter last year while this year the figure during that same period stands at 260,525 which is a 21.1 percent increase.
Overall, in 2011 Sri Lanka saw a record 855,975 tourist arrivals but with the current trend that figure is expected to be surpassed this year.
According to the Tourist Board, 40,686 tourists arrived from Western Europe in March this year while the second highest was from South Asia with 19,516 arrivals.
With the end of a 30-year war between the Sri Lankan military and Tamil Tigers in 2009 tourist arrivals to the country has seen a continuous rise.
The Sri Lankan government has been setting up new resorts and hotels along the coastal belt to meet the demand for accommodation as tourist arrivals soar. The government wants to add 35,000 rooms within the next four years to meet the projected demand of 2.5 million foreign visitors.
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Tags: 5 million, 686, accommodation, coastal belt, continuous rise, hotels, South Asia, south asian countries, sri lanka, sri lankan government, tamil tigers, tourist arrivals, tourist board, tourists, western europe, xinhua