COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Tourist arrivals from China shot up 165 percent from a year earlier to 27,425 in February 2015 to overtake visitors from India, despite a growth of 14.1 percent from the South Asian nation.
Chinese visitors have been growing to Sri Lanka with strong political and economic links backed by expanding air links.
Britain, the traditional most numerous source of visitors after India was relegated to a distant third at 15,212 showing a growth of 6.3 percent.
In the first two months of the year, visitors from China rose 85.6 percent to 39,160 though Indian visitors were higher at 42,943.
Total arrivals in February were up 16.7 percent from a year earlier to 165,541.
Tourist arrivals from Russia fell 30 percent to 6,787 in February 2015 from a year ago reflecting the reduced purchasing power there after the fall of the rouble.
There was strong growth from Germany, another traditional source of tourists with the numbers up 15.5 percent to 13,056 while arrivals from France rose 20 percent to 12,742 in February.
American visitors, although small, grew a sharp 40 percent to 3,942 in the month.