Sri Lanka welcomes over 800,000 tourists in May

Tourists looking at Sigiriya in Sri Lanka

(Photo by Lou Lou B Photo on Unsplash)

The tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka crossed the 800,000 mark in May, which is two months earlier than in 2023 when achieving the milestone.

The provisional data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed that the mark was crossed on May 5.

For the first nine days of the month, the island nation welcomed a total of 819,866 international visitors.

During the first nine days of May, 35,215 tourists entered the country.

The daily arrival average is about 3,900, a drop from the 5,000 level experienced in the previous months.

From April until the summer season, the influx of tourists is low, as it is an off-peak period. However, the authorities have noted that contributing to the drop this year-round is also the visa fiasco that took place.

The issues regarding tourist visas are not yet entirely resolved, with confusion still prevailing in certain areas.

The largest tourist traffic generator for the month so far is India, accounting for 21 percent of the total arrivals. Ranking second is the Maldives, contributing to 11 percent of the arrivals.

The United Kingdom ranked third, accounting for 7 percent of total arrivals. China is now among the top five markets.

For May so far, China contributed to 6 percent of the total arrivals and ranked fourth. The Russian Federation is in fifth place.

For several months, it was among the top three source markets for Sri Lanka tourism.