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Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka grow by 84% in March

Updated: Apr 6,2015 3:58 PM     Xinhua

COLOMBO — China remained the second largest source of tourists to Sri Lanka growing by 84.5 percent in March when compared with the previous year, latest data released on April 6 showed.

Chinese tourist arrivals of 28,798 in March 2014 expanded to 53,135 in March 2015, which is a 84.5 percent increase.

Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 18.0 percent in March this year compared to the same period last year, the data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.

Overall, the month recorded 157,051 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 133,048 arrived in March 2014.

In the first three months of this year, 478,838 tourists visited the island, an increase of 13.6 percent compared to the 421,501 recorded for the same period in 2014.

Chinese tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka kicked off the New Year positively growing by 8.9 percent in January.

In the first month of 2015, Chinese arrivals grew to 11,735 from 10,779 in January 2014.

Chinese tourists to the tiny island in the Indian Ocean have risen rapidly over the last two years with 2014 ending at an all- time high. In 2013 only, 54,288 Chinese tourists visited Sri Lanka but the numbers ballooned to 128,166 by the end of last year growing an impressive 136.1 percent, according SLTDA.

Only tourists from India outstrip numbers from China. China already has the highest growth rate of any country.

Since the end of a three-decade war in 2009, Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals have boomed reaching over 1.5 million last year and attracting earnings of $1.7 billion, according to the Central Bank.

The tropical island is aiming to attract 2.5 million arrivals by 2016, buoyed by fast increasing numbers from China.

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