Corona crisis affects Sri Lankan tourism harshly

Published on : Thursday, June 4, 2020

The unanticipated crisis brought in by the corona virus pandemic has severely affected Sri Lanka’s economy, with earnings from tourism, remittances and outflow of foreign investment impacted heavily, said the nation’s central bank.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka said that the country is facing the worst financial crisis in its history due to the economic and travel curbs imposed after the virus outbreak. Sri Lanka has reported 11 deaths and 1,643 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

“The COVID-19 lockdown had severely impacted Sri Lanka’s economy with fall in earnings from tourism, remittances and outflow of foreign investment,” the Central Bank said.

The tourism sector is the worst affected, with a drop in tourist arrivals by over 70 per cent year-on-year in March.

Sri Lanka announced its lockdown in mid-March after the detection of the first COVID-19 positive case on March 11. Tourism accounts for about five per cent of Sri Lanka’s economy, with Britain, India and China being the main markets.

The number of international tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka declined in March this year by 70.8 per cent compared to a year ago with the tourism industry hit hard by the corona virus outbreak.

The island nation suspended its passenger flights completely along with ships to arrest the spread of the highly contagious viral disease.

Sri Lanka is now considering the idea of opening up the airports for welcoming tourists back and revive the sector.

In general, Sri Lanka’s economy has been impacted since last year when the country witnessed the Easter Sunday attacks, which killed over 250 people including Indians, impacting tourism in the nation.

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