Arrivals from India, Sri Lanka's top generating market, surged 30 percent to 18,048, up sharply for the second month in a row, helping South Asian visitors grow 31 percent to 26,399.
A weak Indian rupee which has made other destinations more expensive may be making Sri Lanka more attractive some analysts say.
Visitors from Maldives also rose 34.5 percent to 4,977. South Asian visitors were up 14.9 percent to 195,195 up to September.
Arrivals from Western Europe rose 19.1 percent to 26,598 in September with UK rising 5.6 percent to 9,070 and Germany up 36.2 percent to 6,732. Arrivals from France rose 14.8 percent to 3,479 and Dutch visitors were up 13.2 percent to 1,638.
Up to September Western European visitors were up 14.4 percent to 307,831. Western European visitors peak in the last quarter of the year during the winter tourist season.
Eastern European visitors were up 42.2 percent to 6,646 with arrivals from Russia up 70.9 percent to 2,920, and Ukraine up 37.6 percent to 2,201.
East Asian visitors were up 37 percent to 14,704 with China surging 81.2 percent to 4,847. During the first nine months Chinese visitors were up 75 percent to 29,153.
Middle Eastern visitors were up 36.7 percent to 5,695.