Sri Lanka tourist arrivals falter as China plunges amid runway closure
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals dropped 0.1 percent in February 2017 to 197,517 as Chinese arrivals plunged 21.6 percent to 25,248, amid a daytime airport closure for runway repairs, but there was also growth in several markets.
Sri Lanka’s airport is closed from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm for four months until April 06, disrupting flights, particularly at national carrier SriLankan which uses Colombo as its hub.
Indian arrivals also dropped 0.9 percent to 26,320.
Arrivals from Western Europe however grew 4.4 percent to 76,770 with UK growing 5.3 percent o 20,218 and Germany up 2.0 percent to 14,712.
France dropped 4.7 percent to 13,909.
Eastern European arrivals grew 9.3 percent to 23,768 with Russia up 29.8 percent to 9,031. But Ukraine dropped 0.2 percent to 4,252 and the Czech Republic dropped 17.9 percent to 2,735.
Total East Asian arrivals dropped 11.1 percent to 32,460 led by the drop in Chinese visitors to 25,248 from 32,186.
Indonesia grew 103 percent to 3,690 but Malaysia dropped 22 percent to 1,672 and Singapore dropped 16 percent to 1,157.
Arrivals in January was surprisingly resilient at 219,360 growing 12.9 percent despite the airport closure. (Colomb/Mar06/2017)