Dec 09, Colombo: SLTDA, the Sri Lanka’s Tourism Development Authority has recorded a 25.8 percent increase in tourist arrivals to the country in November this year in comparison november last year.
SLTDA statistics have recorded 90,889 tourist arrivals in November 2011 while the number of arrivals in the 11 months up to November rose 33.1 percent to 758,458.
The arrivals for the first ten months of this year surpassed the annual tourist arrivals of 654,476 recorded in 2010.
Up to November 2011, arrival from Western Europe topped the charts with 281,484 arrivals, a 24.5 percent increase over last year.
During this period, arrivals from South Asia rose 38.8 percent year-on-year to 211,777, with 153,919 coming from the northern neighbor India.
Tourist arrivals from the Middle East saw a significant increase of 54.2 percent in 2011. However, the number of arrivals remained small at 52,597.
Since the end of the war against the Tamil Tiger terrorists in May 2009, the country has seen increasing tourist arrivals every year for the past two years.
The government predicts arrivals to grow by 20 percent and hit a new record of over 800,000 this year.
Sri Lanka launched a new five-year plan under the guidance of the Economic Development Minister to boost tourism in the country. Under the plan Sri Lanka expects to raise the number of arrivals to 2.5 million and to earn annual revenue of US$ 2.75 billion by 2016.