Colombo, June 20: Tourism has emerged as the second highest foreign exchange earner in Sri Lanka, beating the island country's lucrative garment industry which held this position for the past eight years since 2010, official data showed on Tuesday.
Tourism earnings in January this year amounted to USD 458 million, up 12.7 per cent year-on-year, while garments grew 1.99 per cent year-on-year to USD 434.8 million in the same period, according to a Xinhua report. In the first quarter of the year, income generated from tourism reached USD 1,312.91 million, with industry experts predicting that the number will pass USD 4 billion-mark by the end of 2018. Sri Lanka's tourism industry, which was once heavily scarred by the 30-year civil conflict, has seen a rise in the number of tourist arrivals in recent years, with India, China and Britain emerging as the leading markets. (IANS)