SL records highest monthly tourist arrivals since pandemic
March tourist arrivals top 125,000 mark
Records 16% growth from previous month, 18% growth from 12 months ago
Cumulative arrivals in first three months of 2023 reach 335,844
Daily arrival average improves to over 4,000
Russian Federation, India and UK rank as top three source markets
The tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka crossed the 125,000 mark in March, recording the highest influx of international visitors since the Covid-19 pandemic.
For the whole of March, 125,495 visitors from across the world visited the island nation, the provisional data from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.
When compared with the previous month, the tourist arrivals expanded by 16 percent, whereas when compared with the corresponding month of the previous year, it was a growth of about 18 percent.
March became the third consecutive month for tourist arrivals to surpass the 100,000 mark, another first since the Covid-19 pandemic.
Accordingly, the cumulative arrivals for January 01 to March 31 stood at 335,649.
The daily arrival average improved to 4,048 in March, from 3,307 in January and 3,844 in February.
The Russian Federation continues to remain as the largest tourist traffic generator for Sri Lanka, as it accounted for 20 percent of the total arrivals in March.
Ranking second is India, bringing in 15 percent of the total arrivals and third is the United Kingdom, generating 9 percent of the total tourist traffic.
The other notable source markets for Sri Lanka in March included Germany, France and the United States.
China, which was among the top three tourist traffic generators for the country before the pandemic, now ranks as the ninth largest source market. As Sri Lanka is looking to revise the tourist arrival target to two million for this year, 16 percent of that target is already realised as of March. Previously, the Tourism Ministry together with the relevant authorities set a target of 1.5 million tourists by end-2023.
However, as the industry is performing better than expected, a decision has been made to look at revising upward the target, the SLTDA said last week.
Hence, to achieve the revised target, Sri Lanka within the next nine months will have to attract at least 184,927 international visitors per month.
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