February Tourist Arrivals up 7%

2019 is off to a positive start with tourist arrival numbers up 4.6 percent from the same period in 2018, data from SLTDA shows.

Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka top ten source markets

In January 2019, 244,239 tourists arrived, up 2.2% year on year. For the month of February, arrivals increased 7 percent to 252,033.

India remained the largest source market in February 2019, but numbers were down by 1.9 percent on figures from the same month in 2018.

Tourists from China, usually the second-largest market plunged by a huge 22 percent YoY to 28,039, at a time when many Chinese often take advantage of Chinese New Year holidays to travel. The UK was the second largest source market with arrivals increasing 8.8 percent to 29,750.

Several source markets saw dramatic increases in Feb. Visitors from Australia were up 55 percent to 8,810, the United States was up 62 percent to 9,678 and Canada also up 62 percent to 6,469.

Regionally, Europe continues to dominate with 54 percent of arrivals. The European winter makes Jan & Feb an attractive time to visit tropical climates.

In 2018, tourist arrivals were up 10.3 percent YoY to 2.3 million. Arrivals in the first two months of 2019 have reached almost half a million, an increase of 4.6 percent from a year earlier, suggesting steady, but consistent growth in arrivals.

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals by region

Hospitality Insider Issue 4