Sri Lanka tourist arrivals down in May amid Ramazan
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals fell 2.5 percent to 21,891 in May 2017 from a year earlier due to steep falls in arrivals from the Middle East, South Asia and several East Asian nations as followers of Islam started the fasting month of Ramazan.
The last week of May also saw torrential rains and floods.
Tourist arrivals in the first five months were up 4.8 percent to 887,093.
Visitors numbers from the Middle East plunged 46 percent to 3,236 in May, with Saudi Arabia falling from 2,279 to 834. South Asian visitor numbers fell 7.7 percent to 43,511, with Maldives falling 27 percent to 5,364, Pakistan dropping 6.8 percent to 2,333 and Bangladesh decreasing 12 percent to 1,104.
India, the top generating market, also fell 0.3 percent to 34,167. Arrivals in the first five months were down 0.5 percent to 145,058. Indonesian visitor numbers fell 28 percent to 1,494, and Malaysia was down 1.4 percent to 2,089.
Chinese arrivals rose 16.5 percent to 18,491, with arrivals in the first five months up 4.1 percent to 117,530.
Eastern European arrivals fell 9 percent to 4,835, with Russia down 29 percent to 1,242, but Ukraine was up 20 percent to 1,464.
Arrivals from Western Europe barely grew 0.2 percent to 26,892. UK arrivals grew 1.3 percent to 8,520, but Germany fell 16 percent to 6,351. US tourists, the third-most important market, was up 10 percent to 85,498 in the first five months. Arrivals from France rose 13 percent to 3,735.
The holy fasting month of Ramazan continues into June, while reports of flood devastation including in key tourist areas of the South made global headlines in the first week of June.