Tourists from Britain have made up the second largest group to visit Sri Lanka in 2010, second only to India. According to statistics of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, a total of 95,320 British tourists have visited the island from January to November, a 31-percent increase from 2009. That number is expected to exceed 125,000 by the end of the year.
“This is a beautiful country to visit, and the historical connections between the (United Kingdom) and Sri Lanka mean lots of British nationals want to come here each year,” said Mark Gooding, deputy British high commissioner in Colombo.
According to a British High Commission press release, Sri Lankan government officials on Dec. 14 welcomed the year’s 600,000th tourist to Sri Lanka who was also a British native.
Overall, tourist arrivals to the country have increase by 47 percent compared with 2009 with 569,849 visitors traveling to the country during the first 11 months from more than 30 countries around the world. India is the country to have sent the most number of tourists with a total of 111,129, which will increase further by the end of the year.
Britain lifted travel warnings to Sri Lanka in August. “It no longer advises against travel to any part of Sri Lanka,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Belgium also relaxed its travel advisory to Sri Lanka this month, omitting a warning about traveling to the North and East. A total of 4,681 Belgian tourists visited the country up until November – more than double the number of tourists last year.