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(a)  Visitor/Tourist Excursionist

       In March 1993, the U.N.O. Statistical Commission adopted a set of recommendations for tourism statistics prepared by the World Tourism Organization (W.T.O.) as a follow-up to the Ottawa International Conference for Travel and Tourism Statistics, held in June 1991. These recommendations have been followed in this report for defining "International Visitor", "International Tourist" and “International Excursionist". The definitions are:

i.         The term 'International Visitor’ refers to any person who travels to a country other than that in which he/she has his/her usual residence but outside his/her usual environment for a period not exceeding 12 months and whose main purpose of visit is other than the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the country visited.

ii.      The term 'International Tourist' (overnight visitor) is an International visitor who stays at least one night in a collective or private accommodation in the country visted.

iii.      The term 'International Excursionist' (same day visitor) refers to an International visitor who does not spend the night in a collective or private accomodation in the country visited.

To clarify further the following are excluded from the definition of 'International Visitor': 

1.     All persons arriving with a specific purpose of engaging themselves in gainful occupation or to establish residence in Sri Lanka irrespective of their length of stay.

2.       Diplomatic personnel.

3.       Crews of ships and aircraft even if they stay for one night or more.

4.       Dependents of temporary immigrants and children below  3 years. 

     In this report the term "Visitor", "Tourist" and "Excursionist" are used for "International Visitor", "International Tourist" and "International Excursionist" respectively. In Sri Lanka's tourism statistics, excursionists consist almost exclusively of passengers on sea cruises, who come on shore for purposes of sight-seeing, shopping, etc. while the ship is in harbour.

(b)   Tourist Arrivals: 

     Every single visit (or entry) of a tourist to the country either in the course of the same trip or in the course of different trips is counted as an arrival, provided the visit (or entry) lasts at least one night in the country (N.B. those who do not cross the frontiers are not regarded as visitors). 

(c)  Tourist Night: 

A night spent in Sri Lanka by a tourist in any type of immobile accommodation.

(d)   Guest Night: 

A night spent in a Turist Hotel, Resthouse or Guesthouse approved by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board, as being suitable for occupation by foreign visitors.

(e)   Tourist Hotels: 

All Tourist Hotels which are reckoned to be upto international standards of operation.

(f)    Supplementary Accommodation

All Guest Houses, Resthouses, Inns, Youth Hotels etc., which are approved by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board, as being suitable for occupation by foreign visitors. 

(g)      Official Receipts: 

Official Receipts constitute the foreign exchange purchases and acceptances by authorized dealers and commercial Banks from foreign visitors either directly or indirectly.

17.1 Tourist arrivals by country of nationality, 2005 - 2009
17.2 Tourists classified by purpose of visit, 2001 - 2009
17.3 Tourist arrivals by country of residence, 2004 - 2009
17.4 Tourist growth trends, 1995 - 2009 
17.5 Direct employment in the tourist industry, 2008 - 2009