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Tourist Arrivals to Sri Lanka Exceed 600,000 by March 27, Surpassing Last Year’s Record

Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka have surpassed the 600,000 mark by March 27, achieving this milestone in nearly half the time compared to last year, as announced by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA).

Provisional data from the SLTDA revealed that tourist arrivals reached 608,475 in the first 27 days of March. In contrast, in 2023, the country reached the 600,000 mark towards the end of June.

Compared to the arrivals before the Covid-19 pandemic and the Easter Sunday attacks, Sri Lanka successfully crossed the 700,000 mark by the end of March in 2018 and 2019.

As of March 27, 2024, Sri Lanka has welcomed a total of 181,872 international visitors. The weekly arrival average is approximately 46,000, with a daily average of about 6,700. At the current rate, tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka are projected to just about cross the 200,000 mark in March. Analysis of tourist arrival rates from 2015 shows that from the third month of the year, the influx of international visitors typically experiences a slowdown until the month of July.

Taking the lead as the largest tourist traffic generator for March 2024 is India, accounting for 16 percent of the total arrivals. Ranking second is the Russian Federation, bringing in 14 percent of the total arrivals. In third place is Germany, accounting for 9 percent of the tourist arrivals. Following closely in fourth position is the United Kingdom, whereas China secures the fifth position.

According to the latest Central Bank data, earnings from tourism for the first two months of the year totaled US$ 687 million. This marks a 118.2 percent year-on-year (YoY) growth compared with the corresponding period of the previous year.

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