Regular in-migration to Sri Lanka occurs on a very small scale. The majority of arrivals to Sri Lanka are tourists who stay there for a short time (usually not exceeding 12 months). In 2009, almost 500,000 foreign tourists entered Sri Lanka, with the majority being from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and India (Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority 2009). Due to the decrease in the number of tourist arrivals after the global financial crisis and rising concerns about safety, the Sri Lankan Tourism Board launched a campaign at the end of the war to attract tourists.

In addition to tourists, there is also an annual inflow of foreign students to Sri Lanka. In 2007 the country had 253 foreign students and the following year this number dropped to 142. The majority (47 per cent) of the foreign students are from Maldives. The others are primarily from China, India and the Republic of Korea. Mutual student exchange programmes and scholarship schemes in combination with the proximity factor are the main reasons for students choosing Sri Lanka for their education needs (Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority 2009).