Tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka from China increased by 31.5 percent to 16,000 in May, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua, confirming China as the second biggest market after India.

Says Xinhua: “In the first five months of this year, 846,229 tourists [in total] visited the island, compared to the 714,584 people visited in the corresponding period of 2015, recording an increase of 18.4 percent.

“India kept the position of largest market with 34,259 visitors, a 7.9 percent growth from the previous year. 26,826 people visited from Western Europe, registering a 9.5 percent increase in arrivals during the month.

“It is reported that nearly 1.8 million tourists arrived in Sri Lanka last year contributing $US2.98 billion of earnings to government revenues, while Sri Lanka government hopes to attract at least 3 million tourists by the end of this year, and it has set a target of 4 million by 2020.

“The island nation’s tourism industry has seen an upward trend since the end of the civil war in May, 2009. Last year, Sri Lanka was able to attract 200,000 Chinese tourists. The government maintained that cooperation between China and Sri Lanka had witnessed ‘a very big development’.”

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