Sri Lanka tourism arrivals up 13-pct in January 2017, despite airport closure

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 12.9 percent to 219,360 in January 2017 from a year earlier, despite a partial closure of the main airport with renewed momentum from China and the UK.

"This performance has laid to rest fears that the partial airport closure will have an adverse impact on tourism," tourism minister John Amaratunga said in a statement.

"I’m very happy that our efforts to streamline operations so as to minimize the impact of the closure have paid off."

Sri Lanka’s main airport in Katunayake is closed until 4.00 pm for runway repairs until April.

Arrivals from Western Europe rose 13.8 percent to 72,500 with UK arrivals up 19.8 percent to 16,253, arrivals from France up 8 percent to 10,666 and Netherlands up 39 percent to 4,457.

German arrivals fell 2.3 percent to 12,471.

East Asian arrivals rose 25 percent to 48,775 with China up 21.8 percent to 31,803 and Japan up 28 percent to 3,134. Indonesia rose 142 percent to 4,529.

South Asia rose 2.4 percent to 41,470 with India up 7.9 percent to 31,173. Maldives fell 18 percent to 5,662.

Eastern Europe rose 16.7 percent to 26,540 with Russia up 23 percent to 10,337 and Ukraine up 24.5 percent to 5,806.






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