Sri Lanka tourist arrivals slide with Coronavirus, Chinese arrivals plunge 92-pct in Feb

ECON0MYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals have fallen 17.7 percent from a year ago to 207,507 in February 2020, hit by the novel Coronavirus with arrivals from China plunging 92.5 percent to 2,096, data from the state statistics office said.

There were broad based falls across key source markets, except India and Germany.

China’s government asked citizens to avoid leisure travel as the Coronavirus expanded out of the epicenter in Wuhan and many countries restricted their entry.

State-run SriLankan Airlines slashed flight to China and visa restrictions went up to selected Chinese cities. Asian airlines in particular were set to lose billions of dollars in revenues as people stayed at home.

Arrivals from the UK to Sri Lanka fell 6 percent to 26,348, Russian Federation fell 29 percent to 20,948, France fell 33 percent to 11,430 and Australia fell 44.6 percent to 17,295.

Visitors from Germany grew 26 percent to 16,405, while US visitors grew 45 percent to 7,803.

India, Sri Lanka’s largest source market, also saw a 9.4 percent growth to 35,309.

India’s GoAir, which is starting flights to Sri Lanka from March 20, said Coronavirus was making Indians cautions about travelling to East Asia and more were travelling within the region.

Tourists from Malaysia were down 32 percent to 1,400, Singapore was down 41 percent 878 and Vietnam was down 16 percent to 325. (Colombo/Mar04/2020)

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