March tourist arrivals down for second month

Thursday, 6 April 2017 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka fell for a second straight month in March after having risen for 93 consecutive months since a nearly three-decade-long civil war ended in May 2009, Government data released on Wednesday showed.

Arrivals in March edged down 2.5% to 188,076, the second fall since May 2009.

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

 The decline, analysts said, was due to inconvenience and long waiting time at the main airport, which is currently closed through 7 April for eight hours a day for runaway renovations. The renovations have caused hundreds of flights to be cancelled since 6 January.

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.