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Indians flock to SL despite threats

While tourist arrivals from India shot up by 7.8%, those from UK recorded a 13% fall, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2006 14:14 IST

Indians keep pouring into Sri Lanka, no matter what the security situation is here. But the more sensitive Western tourists show a tendency to drop out if trouble is in the air.

Having been a year of high political instability and a high voltage Presidential election campaign, 2005 saw a 3 per cent fall in tourist arrivals.

The fall is attributed to a decline in arrivals from the West, including the UK, which used to hold the first place in the arrivals chart.

Arrivals from India, however, had shot up by 7.8 per cent to be 113,323. UK recorded a 13 per cent fall to 92,529.

Despite the Sri Lankan eagerness to attract Western tourists rather those from India and other countries of South Asia, it is South Asia, especially India, which seems to be keeping the tourism industry here in reasonably good health even in hard times.

153,353 tourists arrived from the South Asian region in 2005, notching up an increase of 14.8 per cent as compared to 2004.

First Published: Jan 27, 2006 14:03 IST