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Sri Lanka Tourist board, said it had received 1.27 million tourists, topping a 1.2 million target for 2014 after changing the method of calculation, as concern grows over the credibility of state data.

Up to November Sri Lanka welcomed 1,016,228 million tourists, and had to get 200,000 tourists in December to reach the target, which would have been almost double the 122,000 arrivals in the month in December. But the tourism office said Wednesday it had comfortably topped 1.2 million after the "latest validation" of data attracting 1,274,593 tourists.

"The new validation was carried out based on the statistics provided by the computer data collection method of Immigration and Emigration Department of Sri Lanka. The new system is a joint effort of both the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and the Emigration and Immigration Department of Sri Lanka to ensure that the country accurately captures the tourist arrival figures."