COLOMBO, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- The global COVID-19 Omicron variant surge has slowed the tourist arrival rate in Sri Lanka, and the Tourism Ministry was unable to achieve its target of 100,000 arrivals in January, local media reported here Thursday.
Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said that Sri Lanka would not be able to meet its ambitious monthly target of 100,000 arrivals owing to the surge of global Omicron infections, local Daily FT reported.
Ranatunga said till Wednesday, Sri Lanka had recorded around 65,000 tourists. The maximum arrivals Sri Lanka could expect for the next five days were 10,000, making it altogether 75,000 tourist arrivals for January.
According to official figures, Sri Lanka attracted nearly 59,000 tourists during the first 22 days of January, a significant increase from the 1,682 arrivals recorded in January last year.
Tourists mostly came from Russia, India, Ukraine, Britain and Germany in January, the ministry said.