April tourist arrivals up 17.5% after two-month fall

Friday, 5 May 2017 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

01Reuters: Tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka rose in April, after falling in the previous two months, as the island nation’s airport in the capital reopened, Government data released on Thursday showed. 

Arrivals in the first four months, however, have risen 6.1% compared to the same period last year. 

Until January, arrivals had risen for 93 consecutive months since a nearly three-decade-long civil war ended in May 2009. 

Tourism accounts for close to 5% of Sri Lanka’s economy.

The decline in the previous two months, analysts said, was due to inconvenience and long waiting time at the main airport, which was closed for three months through 6 April for eight hours a day for runway renovations. The renovations resulted in the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

Tourist arrivals and revenue from tourism hit record highs in 2016, with annual arrivals jumping 14% to a record 2.05 million.

Revenue in 2016 hit $ 3.4 billion, beating the previous record of $ 2.98 billion posted in 2015, Central Bank data showed.