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Sri Lanka's 2012, December tourist arrivals hit record high
January 22, 2013 / 5:24 AM / in 5 years

Sri Lanka's 2012, December tourist arrivals hit record high

COLOMBO, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals hit
a record high in 2012, surpassing the previous year's peak,
while monthly arrivals also hit a record in December, government
data showed on Tuesday.
    The number of visitors has risen annually in the past 44
months since a 25-year civil war ended in May 2009.
    The following table shows tourist arrivals in the country
from the state-run Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority:
                      2012        2011       Change  
                                             (in %)  
      December      122,252      97,517       25.4   
      Jan-Dec     1,005,605     855,975       17.5
    The tourism board expected over one million tourists in 2012
and more than $1 billion in revenue, up from last year's record
of $830.3 million. 
    Revenue from tourism rose 23 percent to $905.3 million in
the first 11 months of 2012 from the same period last year. 
    Tourism is one of the main foreign exchange earners for  
Sri Lanka's $59 billion economy, along with remittances from
expatriate workers, garments and tea. 
  ($1 = 126.550 Sri Lanka rupees)

 (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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