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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2614

Sri Lanka: 2.3 Mn tourists in 2018

Colombo, 06 January, (

Sri Lanka received 2.3 million tourists last year with December recording the highest number of arrivals with over 250,000 tourists, a statement from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) said here Thursday.

This was said to be a healthy growth of 10.3 percent reaching 2.3 million tourists compared to 2.1 million tourist arrivals in 2017, however, missing the target of 2.5 million for the year.

The month of December recorded the highest number of arrivals of 253,169 for the year 2018, up 3.5% from a year earlier.

India, China, Britain and Germany continued to be the leading markets in 2018 while a significant growth was also seen from Australia.

Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga said Sri Lanka would have achieved the originally-set target of 2.5 million arrivals target, or surpassed it, if not for the political crisis prevailed after October 26.

"Although the tourist arrivals for the year 2018 was fallen slightly short due to the political instability we saw post Oct. 26, I think in terms of earnings we have reached the 3.5-billion-dollar target," Minister Amaratunga said.

On Wednesday, the Minister said that the tourism sector was targeting 3 million tourists in 2019 with an earnings of 4 billion US dollars by the end of the year.

He said the Ministry had organized massive promotional campaigns in India and China throughout the year and they were confident to receive a higher number of tourists from these destinations as Sri Lanka had transformed into a popular tourist destination globally.

The Minister said Sri Lanka can achieve four million tourist arrivals and $5 billion income by the end of this year if the country can go forward without political obstacles or disruptions.

- Asian Tribune -

John Amaratunga  - Tourism Development Minister
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