Tourist arrivals in August total 37,760

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Despite the current economic crisis in Sri Lanka, which has led to planned power interruptions, and the shortage of fuel and domestic gas, tourist arrivals during August reached 37,760.

With the 37,760 visitors in August, the total number of visitors this year was recorded at 496,430.

During the first seven months of this year, Sri Lanka had attracted more than 458,670 travellers into the country with July bringing in 47,293, June bringing in 32,856 visitors, May bringing in 30,207 visitors, April 62,980 visitors, March 106,500 visitors, February 96,507 and January 82,327 visitors.

March 2022 recorded the highest number of tourist arrivals since February 2020.

Regionally, Europe became the largest source of tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with 59.3 per cent of the total recorded in August 2022, as an up demand, especially from countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany and France is likely to have driven this growth momentum. Asia and the Pacific accounted for 28 per cent of total arrivals. The Americas accounted for 10.0 per cent of the total traffic while the Middle East accounted for 2.2 per cent.

Country-wise, The United Kingdom, India, Germany, France and Canada were Sri Lanka’s top five international tourist generating markets for the month of August this year.

The United Kingdom was the largest source of tourist visits to Sri Lanka with 17.9 per cent of the total traffic received in August. India and Germany accounted for 14.1 per cent and 8.6 per cent of the total traffic respectively while France and Canada accounted for 7.4 per cent and 6.8 per cent respectively.

An analysis of tourist arrivals by purpose of visit reveals that a majority (42 per cent) of tourists had visited Sri Lanka for pleasure/vacation, while for 39 per cent the main purpose was visiting friends and relatives. In comparison to July 2022, the tourists who had visited Sri Lanka for VFR purposes had decreased while tourists who came for pleasure/vacation purposes increased. The reason could be the Kandy Esala Perahera which is considered to be one of the most beautiful cultural events in Asia. Only six per cent of tourists had visited for business related purposes. One per cent had visited for MICE purposes, while 0.65 per cent and 0.22 per cent had visited for purposes such as Health & Ayurveda and sports respectively.

By Mario Andree