Statistics released by Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Tuesday showed that Sri Lanka had met its tourist arrival target of 1.5 million for the year 2014.
According to SLTDA figures, Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 16.1 percent in December last year compared to the same period in 2013 with the arrival of 178,672 tourists compared to the 153,918 arrived in December 2013.
For the year a total of 1,527,153 tourists arrived in the island recording a 19.8 percent increase from the 1,274,593 came during 2013.
Most of the tourist arrivals were from Western Europe with 479,007 tourists visiting in 2014 recording a 13.8 percent increase over corresponding 2013 figures. For the month of December 55,877 tourists arrived in the island, 13.9% more than in December 2013.
Arrivals from North America rose by 10.7 percent with 72,653 visitors last year while arrivals from Eastern Europe increased 22.6 percent with the arrival of 154,153 tourists. Arrivals from Eastern Europe rose 6.3 percent for the last month.
Tourist arrivals from Middle East declined in December by 24.3 percent to but for the year arrivals increased by 10.5 percent to 88,991.
Last year 280,511 East Asians arrived in the island, an increase of 53.2 percent. Number of Chinese tourists arriving in the island rose by an impressive 136.1 percent to reach 128,166. In December alone tourists arrivals from China increased by 120.4 percent with 10,400 Chinese tourists visiting the island.
Arrivals from South Asia, the other region from where most of the tourists come, increased by 13.4 percent to record 370,299, while arrivals from India increased 16.3 percent to 242,734 in 2014.
In the past year, 57,940 Australians arrived in the country, a 6.8 percent increase from the previous year.
Sri Lanka has earned US$ 1.775 billion from tourism in the first ten months of 2014, an increase of 30.4 percent compared to same period of 2013.