HOSPITALITY INSIDER – International tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka were up 4.7 percent in March 2019, according to SLTDA data. In 2018, arrival numbers were 233,382, this increased to 244,328 in March this year.
The 4.7 percent increase in arrivals is smaller than the 7 percent year on year growth recorded in February.
Europe continues to dominate with 49 percent or regional arrivals, followed by Asia & Pacific at 40 percent.
For the first three months of 2019, tourist arrivals numbers are up 4.6 percent to 740,600, compared to 708,000 in the same period last year.
Top Source Markets for Sri Lanka
Arrivals from India saw a steady growth of 5.6 percent to 34,812 after a decline of almost 2% in February year on year.
The UK is the second largest source country for the second month running, with China in third place. Arrivals from the UK grew consistently at 8.8 percent to 29,682.
Tourist arrivals from China, which saw a 22 percent drop in February rebounded in March. Arrivals increased 12.6 percent to 23,759 visitors, up from 21,101 in March 2018.
Visitor numbers from France and Germany were in decline this month. German arrivals were down by a quarter compared to March 2018, with only 18,134 arrivals. While arrivals from USA and Canada continued to grow (by 29.3 and 17.6 percent respectively), it was at noticeably lower levels than the 62 percent year on year growth recorded in February.
In March 2019, 93 percent of tourist arrivals travelled to Sri Lanka by air. Of the 16,642 who arrived by sea, half were from Europe and a quarter from The Americas.