Dengue, Rabies, buffet tourism

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By 2017-12-07

By Paneetha Ameresekere

Numbers from the island's major tourism markets in value terms, namely the countries in the West, stagnated or even fell vis-à-vis certain countries from the Continent on the eve of its peak winter season last month, driven down by dengue advisories and a fatal bite from a rabid dog Down South which killed a French child.

Tourism is Sri Lanka's third largest foreign exchange earner. According to latest data, tourism earnings in the first 10 months of the year grew by 2.75 per cent to US$ 2.92 billion.

Meanwhile, UK, the island's number three tourism market, saw numbers marginally grow by 2.2 per cent year-on-year to 13,634 last month and in the first 11 months by 7.4 per cent to 180,123; Germany, the island's fourth largest tourism market saw numbers down by 11.5 per cent to 9,891 and in the first 11 months, down 2.6 per cent to 118,104.

And France, its fifth, down 4.6 per cent to 5,574 last month and in the first 11 months, down by 0.2 per cent to 88,424.

However, overall tourism numbers, led by India and China, the island's first and second largest tourism markets, grew, with last month tourism numbers on an overall basis marginally increasing by 0.2 per cent YoY to 167,511 and in the first 11 months by 2.5 per cent to 1,871,871. Numbers from India last month grew by 6.9 per cent YoY to 32,243 and in the first 11 months by 5.7 per cent to 336,840 and China, by 3.5 per cent to 19,237 last month, though in the first 11 months of the year numbers were down by 1 per cent to 249,718. China too has issued a dengue advisory.

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