MARCH TOURIST ARRIVAL HIGHEST IN TWO YEARS

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Tourist arrivals surpassed 100,000 per month for the first time in two years; the Ministry of Tourism stated yesterday (31).

According to statistics released by the Ministry, a total of 101,192 tourists had arrived between 1 and 29 March.

The total tourist arrivals for the year as at date is 270,027.

As per official figures, the highest number of tourists was recorded from India, which stands at 22,231, followed by the United Kingdom, with a total of 11,634. The third, fourth and fifth in terms of the number of arrivals is from Germany (9,140), Russia (8,716) and France (5,493), respectively.

Among other countries where arrivals were in large numbers during this month include Poland, US, Canada, Kazakhstan and Iran.

According to the Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga the Government’s effective vaccination programme that prevented the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the promotional activities to attract tourists had resulted in the sudden surge in arrivals.

He pointed out that the resumption of operations at the Mattala International Airport and the reopening of the Ratmalana Airport  for international aviation after a lapse of 55 years had contributed favourably towards the sharp increase in tourist arrivals.

According to the Ministry a total of 1 million tourist arrivals are anticipated by the year-end, bringing in an estimated revenue of USD 2.4 billion.