Sri Lanka overtook Maldives in terms of tourist arrivals in November this year.
Sri Lanka also recorded 883,353 tourists in the 11 months to November compared to the Maldives’ 866,310.
The tourist arrivals to Maldives in November were at 82,311 compared to the 85,501 visitors during the same month last year. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, increased its arrivals last month to 109,202 – a 20.1% rise over November 2011, a record high compared to the same period last year.
The month recorded 109,202 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 90,889 arrived in November 2011, data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.
Arrivals during the first eleven months of the year increased 16.5 percent to 883,353 from the 758,458 arrived in the same period last year to surpass the total arrivals for 2011.
Arrivals from North America rose 34.5 percent to 5,798 in November with Canada rising 30.4 percent to 2,542 and USA rising 37.8 percent to 3,256. For the first eleven months of 2012, North American arrival rose by 22.3 percent to 52,761.
Tourist arrivals from Western Europe reached 329,364 during the first 11 months of 2012, a 17.0 percent increase from the same period of last year.
Arrivals from Eastern Europe increased 45.5 percent from January through November 2012 with the arrival of 62,497 tourists.
During the first eleven months, tourist arrivals from Middle East however declined 4.8 percent to 50,096 from 52,597 from the same period of 2011.
Arrivals from South Asia for this year increased moderately. In the first eleven months 226,114 South Asians visited Sri Lanka, a 3.9 percent increase from the same period in previous year. Of the 26,649 arrived in November 2012, a majority, 17,625 were from India.
Sri Lanka targets one million tourist arrivals this year and expects to earn over US$ 1 billion this year from tourism opposed to the US$ 830.3 million earned last year.
SLTDA statistics have recorded 855,975 tourist arrivals in 2011 compared to the 654,476 arrived in 2010.