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Sri Lanka records drop in Indian tourists in February

Colombo: The number of Indian tourists visiting Sri Lanka in February slightly dropped by 0.9 per cent to 26,320, the country’s Tourism Department said.

The drop in arrivals was caused by the ongoing upgradation of infrastructure at the Colombo international airport runway due to which the airport remains shut from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm daily till April 6, it said.

The Chinese arrivals also saw a plunge of 21.6 per cent to 25,248, it added. Arrivals from Western Europe, however, grew 4.4 per cent to 76,770 with the tourists from the UK growing 5.3 per cent to 20,218 and Germany up by 2 per cent to 14,712.

Eastern European arrivals grew by 9.3 per cent to 23,768 with Russia up 29.8 per cent to 9,031. But Ukraine dropped 0.2 per cent to 4,252 and the Czech Republic dropped 17.9 per cent to 2,735.

Total East Asian arrivals dropped 11.1 per cent to 32,460 led by the drop in Chinese visitors to 25,248 from 32,186.

Indonesia arrivals grew by 103 per cent to 3,690 but tourism from Malaysia dropped by 22 per cent to 1,672 and Singapore dropped by 16 per cent to 1,157.

In January, a total of 21,936 tourists visited Sri Lanka, a growth of 12.9 per cent despite the airport closure.