ECONOMYNEXT - Tourist coming to Sri Lanka in charter flights has seen a fourfold increase in 2017 from a year earlier with exponential growth seen in the Indian and Australian markets, official data said.
A Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority report said that 51,379 tourists landed in in Sri Lanka from charter flights in 2017, up from 13,1440 visitors a year earlier or a jump up 0.6 percent to 2.4 percent.
Total arrivals to Sri Lanka had grown just 3.2 percent in 2017 to 2.1 million tourists.
Last year saw the highest share of tourists arriving through charter flights since 2008, when 3 percent of arrivals had been through charters.
The biggest customers in 2017 were Russians, with 6,554 taking charters to Sri Lanka, up from 2,690 a year earlier.
Some of the fastest growth was seen in the Indian market, with 6,245 tourists taking charters to Sri Lanka, up from just 92 visitors a year earlier.
British travelers were the third highest, with 5,626 taking charters, up from 1,939 arrivals a year earlier.
The report said that 4,533 Australians took charters to Sri Lanka, up from just 52 in 2016.
Poland was the fifth largest market, with 3,014 tourists taking charter flights in 2017, up from 614 a year earlier.
Ukraine, from where the most number of charter customers (3,198) came in 2016 fell to 1,837 tourists in 2017.
There was also moderate demand for charter flights from China and Indonesia in 2017, drawing just over 2,000 tourists each.
World's largest charter airline TUI brought in the most volumes with 10,532 tourists, followed by Special Aircrafts with 9,928 visitors last year.
Azu Air brought in 5,555 tourists in 2017. (COLOMBO, 25 October 2018)