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Sri Lanka tourist arrivals hit new record high in 2011

[Reuters, Sunday, 13 November 2011 07:38 No Comment]

sl-tourist Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals in the first 10 months of the year has surpassed 2010′s record as visitors to the island nation has continued to rise every month on a year-on-year basis since a 25-year civil war ended in May 2009.

Tourist arrivals in the first ten months of 2011 jumped 34.2 percent to 667,569 from a year earlier, higher than Sri Lanka’s record annual tourist arrivals of 654,476 reached last year.

The arrivals rose 32.8 percent in October from a year earlier to 69,563.

The government is targeting annual revenue of $2.75 billion by 2016 from 2.5 million expected visitors attracted by Sri Lanka’s beaches, hills and religious and historic sites, while aiming for $3 billion in foreign direct investment.

Sri Lanka has forecast 20 percent growth in visitor arrivals this year to more than 780,000 people. Last year, the industry grew at 46 percent. The island’s tourism industry drew $1.2 billion for investment in the first half of 2011.

Tourism revenue, which jumped 64.8 percent in 2010 to a record $575.9 million, has risen 48.1 percent in the first nine months of this year from a year earlier to $580.1 million, central bank data shows.

* Sri Lanka aims to attract $2.7 billion in investment to upgrade its post-war tourism capacity.

* The hotel and travel index .CSEHT on the Colombo Stock Exchange has risen nearly fourfold since the end of the war.

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