Published on : Friday, October 4, 2019
Among those killed in the suicide bombings, were 42 foreign nationals. In the following weeks, tourist arrivals dropped by around 70%.
The impact has been devastating, with many small businesses suffering considerably.
Last year, the island nation attracted a record 2.2 million visitors, with revenue of around $4.4bn (£3.5bn). It was named as the world’s top tourist destination in 2019 by Lonely Planet.
Hence, when the bombers struck on Easter Sunday it was truly unexpected. With images of carnage and grief broadcast around the world, many countries issued travel advisories warning their citizens to stay away from visiting Sri Lanka. Foreign tourists cancelled their visits in large numbers.
The hotel industry and its employees were among the worst affected in the downturn – thousands of workers were either made redundant or their temporary contracts not renewed.
It’s not just hotels and their staff who suffered. Tourist guides, restaurant workers and travel companies have also been hit by the massive slump.
However, now the situation is gradually improving, five months after the bombings.
The travel advisories have been withdrawn and Sri Lanka has lifted the state of emergency.
The Sri Lankan government has taken some steps to support the tourism industry.
Tags: Sri Lanka Tourism