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Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 4.7-pct in March

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s tourism arrivals rose 4.7 percent in March 2019 from a year earlier to 244,328, helped by visitors from the Russian Federation, United States, India and China, while Western Europe dropped, official data showed.

Visitors from the Russian Federation grew 39 percent to 12,448 while American arrivals grew 29 percent to 12,543.

India grew 5.6 percent to 34,812 slowing from last year while Australia grew 28 percent to 11,441.

Chinese arrivals grew 12.6 percent to 23,759.

Western Europe dropped 15.5 percent to 51,839 with Germany down 25 percent to 18,134 and France down 5.8 percent to 13,957.

Northern Europe dropped 3.4 percent with the UK, a top market dropping 2.3 percent to 30,366.

In the first three months of 2019, arrivals grew 4.6 percent to 740,600.

In 2018, tourist arrivals grew 10.3 percent to 2,333,796.

Sri Lanka is giving free visas to a number of countries from May to October to boost arrivals (Colombo/Apr06/2019-SB)