Sri Lanka's March tourist arrivals rise 21 pct yr/yr

Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:25am EDT

COLOMBO, April 17 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals
in March jumped 21.3 percent from a year earlier, government
data showed on Tuesday, with annual visitor numbers rising every
month since a 25-year civil war ended in May 2009.	
    The following table shows tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka:    
                      2012           2011          Change      
                                                   (in %)      
      March          91,102         75,130          21.3       
      Jan-March     260,525        215,124          21.1       
      Jan-Dec                      855,975          30.8       
    The island nation's tourism board expects 950,000 tourists
in 2012 with revenue of more than $1 billion, 20 percent higher
than last year's $830.3 million. 	
    Tourism is one of the main foreign exchange earners for  
Sri Lanka's $59 billion economy along with remittances from
expatriate workers, garments and tea.   	
 ($1=128.650 Sri Lankan rupee)	
 (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)