Business / Industries

Sri Lanka's tourism earnings reach $1.4b

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-09-24 11:20

COLOMBO - Earnings from Sri Lanka's lucrative tourism industry have increased by an impressive 32.1 percent to $1.4 billion so far in 2014, helped by growing arrivals from China, latest data from the Central Bank showed here on Tuesday.

During the first eight months of 2014, India, Britain and China were the top tourist sources for Sri Lanka with China closing in rapidly on second place.

Till August, tourist arrivals have increased by 23.1 percent, surpassing the one million mark.

Since the end of a three-decade war in 2009, Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals have boomed, reaching over 1.2 million last year and attracting earnings of $1.7 billion, according to the Central Bank.

The tropical island is aiming to attract 2.5 million arrivals by 2016, buoyed by fast increasing tourists from China.

Only 27,627 Chinese tourists arrived in Sri Lanka in 2012, according to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, but the numbers increased to 54,288 last year.

Chinese arrivals to Sri Lanka have so far increased by a mammoth 143.5 percent for 2014, with 81,682 people landing in the first eight months of this year.

Staying true to the predicted trends, August tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka increased by 13.8 percent to 140,319, pushing the total number past the anticipated one million mark and clearing the way for a strong finish to 2014, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority said.

At the end of July, Sri Lanka had recorded a total of 861,324 arrivals, which was an increase of 24.7 percent.

With the addition of August, the numbers have climbed to 1,001, 643, showing an increase of 23.1 percent in growth over the first eight months of last year.

Sri Lanka has set a target of 1.5 million tourist arrivals for 2014.

Sri Lanka's tourism earnings reach $1.4b Sri Lanka's tourism earnings reach $1.4b
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