Tourist arrivals increased 12.4 percent in August compared to the same period last year, according to statistics released by the tourism ministry on Sunday.
Arrivals surpassed the one million mark last month, reaching 1.1 million by the end of August and registering growth of 16.6 percent during the first eight months of the year. The millionth tourist arrived on August 2, more than a month before the millionth visitor was recorded in 2018.
Some 139,338 tourists visited last month.
With 32,757 tourists, China remained the top market despite a 2.1 percent decline during August. The number of Chinese holidaymakers increased by 5.9 percent from January to August, reversing a downward trend since 2015 and representing an 18.1 percent market share with 205,591 tourists so far this year.
Italy was the second top market with 11,449 tourists, up 30.5 percent from August last year, followed by India, UK, Germany and Russia. Arrivals from India – which become the second largest market for the first time in June – grew a whopping 157 percent in August.
The occupancy rate was 59.4 percent and the average duration of stay was 6.2 days. There were 149 resorts, 154 safari vessels, 11 hotels and 567 guesthouses in operation.
With the exception of seven percent growth in January, tourist arrivals have grown by double digits every month since February. Tourism Minister Ali Waheed told the press last month that the government is confident of reaching the target of 1.5 million visitors by the end of the year.