The number of international tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka declined for the ninth straight month in December 2019 by 4.5 per cent in comparison to the same period a year ago while gradually recovering from the plunge following the Easter Sunday attacks last April, official data revealed on Tuesday.
According to the latest data from the Tourism Ministry, total number of international tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka in December 2019 declined by 4.5 per cent with the arrival of 241,663 in the country. In comparison, 253,169 arrivals were recorded in December 2018, reports the Colombo Page.
Year-on-Year tourist arrivals declined 9.5 per cent in November, 22.5 per cent in October, 27.7 per cent in September, 28 per cent in August, 46 per cent in July, 57 per cent in June and 70.8 per cent in May.
As of December 31, 1,913,702 tourists had visited Sri Lanka in 2019, a decline of 18 per cent.
India, the UK, Russian, China and Australia were Sri Lanka’s top five international tourist generating markets in the month of December this year.
India was the largest source of tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with 19 per cent of the total traffic received in December 2019.
Sri Lanka suffered a major setback to its tourism sector after the bombings that targeted three churches and three luxury hotels in Colombo and killed over 250 people.
To make up for the loss, however, the Sri Lankan government had waived off the visa fee for all tourists till 31st January. Recently, the central cabinet has approved an extension to visa waiver period to encourage more tourists in the country.