Written by – Ranuli at OmeBiz
International tourism is growing at its fastest rate today. With Sri Lanka being recognized by Lonely Planet as the best tourism destination to travel in 2019 and the launch of the latest tourism tagline “So Sri Lanka”, you’d expect Sri Lanka’s tourism to be booming as well. However, the opposite is happening, the country is at a pace for a drop in foreign travellers.
Historically, Sri Lanka only had to sit back and let foreign tourists and their money roll into the country. However, over the past couple of months, this began to dry up. Sri Lanka’s political crisis backed with the depreciation of the Rupee has brought on a fresh new hit to the tourism industry!
This has come at the worst possible time, just as major tourist sites in the country are prepping for the massive crucial winter peak. Furthermore, with tourists in Europe and UK planning for their vacations, tourists who would have visited Sri Lanka are changing their travel plans to alternative destinations. Moreover, western nations have issued travel advisories warning their citizens to exercise vigilance and avoid places with political demonstrations and gatherings during their stay here.
However, sources in the industry have mentioned that they have not experienced a significant decrease in cancellations and new bookings over the past two months. Also, this slight decrease has only been noticed in the countries that had soft travel ban issues. There was no decrease in tourists from the Asia Pacific region at all.
Nonetheless, today this has gone down to say that Sri Lanka is no longer a safe destination for travel. The tourism authorities were targeting to attract over 3 million tourists this year, however, it looks like the country is going to end 2018 short of this. Furthermore, tourism is a cornerstone of the Sri Lankan economy, foreign earnings are desperately needed.
The political situation of the country seems unhinged with no plans of being resolved in the near future. The question is, will the tourism industry of the country boost after this colossal upheaval?
To read the update on this situation by the Sri Lankan Tourism Promotion Bureau – CLICK HERE