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Sri Lanka Tourist Arrivals Up 20 Percent

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Tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka jumped 20.3 percent year-on-year in May, government data showed, with the number of foreign visitors rising for the 61st straight month since the near-three-decade civil war ended in May 2009.

Total arrivals hit record highs in 2013, while revenue from the island nation's leisure sector also hit a record.

The May 2014 number of 90,046 arrivals compares with a 74,838 figure for the same month in 2013.

Arrivals in the January to May period were 624,178 in 2014, against 493,294 the year before, a rise of 26.5 percent.

First quarter earnings from tourism were USD$609 million, up from the previous year's USD$454.5 million, a rise of 34 percent.

Tourism is one of the main foreign exchange earners for Sri Lanka's USD$67 billion economy, with the garment and tea industries, and remittances from expatriate workers accounting for the rest.

(Reuters)