China displaces Britain to become Sri Lanka’s second tourist market

COLOMBO, Nov 15, 2014 (EconomyNext) – China became Sri Lanka’s second largest source of tourists after India in October 2014 displacing Britain to third place, official data shows.

Chinese tourist arrivals have been rising over recent years on the heels of close political links between the rulers of both counties.

State-run SriLankan Airlines is also deploying more aircraft to the country, which is expected to add Kunming to its growing list of Chinese destinations.

Arrivals from China including Hong Kong rose 138 percent to 106,888 in the 10 months to October, trailing just behind traditional second place holder UK which had sent 117,442 visitors to Sri Lanka.

UK usually sees a surge in arrivals in the northern hemisphere winter period running from around October to January.

Arrivals from India, the top tourist generator to Sri Lanka rose 19.8 percent to 26,148 in October 2014 from a year earlier. Arrivals in the 10 months to October were up 18 percent to 196,819 from India.

Total tourist arrivals in October rose 13.6 percent to 121,576. In the 10 months to October arrivals were up 21.5 percent to 1,228,754.

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