Over 200,000 Chinese tourists had arrived in Sri Lanka till September this year with over 18,000 arriving last month alone, statistics released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Ministry showed here Monday.
Over 1.5 million tourists have arrived in the country so far this year with the government recently announcing they were expecting to achieve a 2.5 million arrival target by the end of 2017.
India was the leading market with the largest number of tourist arrivals in September, followed by China and Britain. However with September falling under the off-peak season, total arrivals fell 2.3 percent to 145,077 compared to the same month last year, data from the tourism office showed.
Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister John Amaratunga recently announced that arrivals were expected to increase, including from China, during the month-long Colombo International Shopping Festival which began on Oct 1.
He said the festival will provide world-class and internationally renowned original brands at competitive prices. The event will be held under the theme “One Island, One Big Mall.”
Sri Lanka’s government recently said it aims to double the number of tourists to 5 million per year by 2020 as part of a new tourist strategy to boost revenue to the South Asian island country.
According to the Central Bank, Sri Lanka has earned over $2 billion from tourism so far this year.