The number of international tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka declined for the twelfth straight month in March 2020 by 70.8 percent in comparison to a year ago as the tourism industry is hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak.
The total number of international tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka up to 18th March 2020 was 71,370. This was due to the termination of all passenger flight and ship arrivals into Sri Lanka from 18th March 2020, the Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority said in its Monthly Tourist Arrivals Report for March 2020.
In comparison to March last year, there was a decline of 70.8 % when the arrivals were 244,328.
In March, the largest source market for tourists was India, followed by the Russian Federation and United Kingdom.
Europe became the largest source of tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with 60 % of the total traffic received in March 2020.
Asia and Pacific accounted for 34 % of the total traffic, Americas 4.6 %, Middle East 0.9 % and Africa 0.5%.
In comparison to March last year the highest decline of 85.7% was recorded for Middle East region while Americas recorded a decline of 83.4%. Africa recorded a decline of 77.9 % whereas Asia and pacific recorded a decline of 75.4%. A decline of 64.3% was recorded from Europe.
The effect of the outbreak of COVID-19 is clearly evident as all countries have recorded a decline in arrivals. However, it is noteworthy that arrivals from Kazakhstan have recorded an increase of 79.7%.
India, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Germany and France were Sri Lanka’s top five international tourist generating markets in the month of March this year.
India was the largest source of tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with 17.7% of the total traffic received in March 2020. Russian Federation accounted for 12.4% of the total traffic; while, United Kingdom Germany and France accounted for 11.2%, 9.3% and 5.7% respectively.
It is noteworthy that China which dropped from the top ten tourist generating markets of Sri Lanka in the month of February has climbed up to the ninth position among the top ten markets despite the outbreak of COVID 19.
India, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, Germany and China were Sri Lanka’s top five international tourist generating markets from January to March this year. India was the largest source of tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with 18% of the total traffic received from January to March 2020. UK accounted for 11% of the total traffic; while Russian Federation, Germany and China accounted for 10%, 7% and 5% respectively.