Sri Lanka tourism recovery gathers pace after bombings

ECONOMYNEXT – The recovery of Sri Lanka’s tourism business is picking up pace with a marked increase in arrivals which had plunged after the April suicide bombings of churches and hotels, a senior industry official said.

“The recovery is very good,” said Kishu Gomes, chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau. “In the last 5 – 10 days we have exceed 4,500 tourist arrivals a day on average.”

This was because of improved security and efforts to promote the island as a tourist destination, he told a news conference held to announce that the island will host a global forum of an association of financial market professionals.

The ACI Financial Markets Association World Congress, hosted by Sri Lanka Forex Association, will be held from the 3rd to 5th October in Colombo. 

Tourist arrivals plunged and there were mass cancellations of bookings after the Easter Sunday attacks which killed over 250 people, including tourists.

The island is now in the ‘off-season’ for tourism which peaks in the winter months.

Gomes said the congress was an important event as it will draw foreign delegates who will also get the chance to experience the island’s tourism products.

“It is just a matter of time before we fully recover – we have plans in place to make that happens, Over the next 3-4 months we should be at normal levels. We are doing more and more work to increase the rate of arrivals.

“From the industry we hear bookings are increasing. Other countries hit by terrorism took on average 13 months to fully recover. Sri Lanka will not take that long”
(COLOMBO, 24 July, 2019)