COLOMBO – Chinese tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka in the first six months of 2014 jumped a significant 137.2 percent to 52,230 compared to 22,023 in the same period last year, latest data from the State-run Tourism Development Authority revealed on Wednesday.
China remained the third largest market for tourists to Sri Lanka behind India and Britain, and also the fastest growing market to the South Asian island.
Since the end of a three decade war in 2009, Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals have boomed, reaching over 1.2 million last year and attracting earnings of $1.7 billion , according to the Central Bank.
The tropical island is aiming to attract 2.5 million arrivals by 2016, buoyed by fast increasing tourist arrivals from China.
About 27,600 Chinese tourists arrived in Sri Lanka in 2012, according to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, but the arrivals nearly doubled to 54,288 last year.
In the first six months of this year, a total of 727,353 tourists arrived in the island, marking a 24.6 percent increase from the same period of last year.