The growth in the number of tourists visiting Sri Lanka has slowed to single digits in the month of September after growing by double digits each month except in June this year, latest tourism data showed.

Accordingly, Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka rose by a meagre 3.6% in September 2016 to 148,499 from a year ago helped by strong arrivals from China and stagnant Indian numbers.

Arrivals from India, the biggest market, were virtually unchanged at 27,241with the number of Indian visitors up 14% to 252,165 in the year to September from the same period in 2015.

Arrivals from China, the second biggest market, were up 7.8% to 22,111 in September 2016 from the year before, with total visitors for the first nine months up 29.2% to 213,103 from the same 2015 period.

Sri Lanka received just over 1.5 million tourists up to September 2016, up 14.6% from the same 2015 period.

Arrivals from the traditional markets of the United Kingdom and Germany remained strong, with those from the UK up 10% and from Germany  almost 22% in September compared with a year ago.