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Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka increase

Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka increased by 8 percent…

Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka increased by 8 percent after the end of the third quarter this year.

The total tourist arrivals up to September 2005 were 405,585, an increase of nearly 30,000 tourists, or 8 percent, compared with 375,630 arrivals same period last year, the paper quoted a press release by Sri Lanka Tourist Board as reporting.

The best market for Sri Lanka was from South Asia, which accounted for 114,039 arrivals, a healthy increase of 31.4 percents against corresponding period last year.

Indian tourists accounted for 82,434 visitors compared to figures of 67,834 registered same period last year while Moldavian tourist arrivals also increased from 9,817 to 19,245, which is a 96 percent increase.

However, it was disappointing to note the decrease of Western European tourists by 15 percent from Australia, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and Germany. In contrast Denmark, France, Norway arrivals have increased.

Both United Kingdom and Germany had been one of the highest revenue generating markets and a decline in this area would have a negative impact.

In 2004 total tourist arrivals passed the 500,000 mark and this year is expected to increase even further.