Sri Lanka was able to attract 438,653 tourists during the year as of end May 2013, recording a growth of 13.2 per cent in total tourist arrivals. Earnings from tourism expanded at a commendable rate of 34.5 per cent in May 2013 to US dollars 77 million, from the US dollar 57 million recorded in May 2012, says the Central Bank in its External Sector Performance – May 2013 report.
This increase was the result of a significant increase in the number of tourist arrivals in May 2013. Tourist arrivals increased by 21.8 per cent to 70,026 in May 2013. On a cumulative basis, earnings from tourism during the first five months of 2013 recorded a growth of 21.9 per cent, to US dollars 484.3 million, compared to the cumulative earnings of US dollars 397.1 million received from tourism during the first five months of 2012, the Bank further said.