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Sri Lanka tourist arrivals down 70-pct in March 2020

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals had dropped 70.8 percent from a year earlier to 71,370 in March 2020, amid a Coronavirus crisis, data from the state tourism promotion office showed.

Sri Lanka tightened arrivals progressively from mid-March and completely stopped all arrivals including citizens on March 19, to help take the pressure off contact tracers who were fighting to contain the spread of the disease.

By the following week Sri Lanka had about 20,000 tourists left in the country, reports said.

There was an estimated 10,000 tourists still in the country by April.

Sri Lanka is keeping the airport open for outward passenger movements and Qatar Airways is still flying daily to the island. Sri Lanka stopped scheduled flights from mid-March.

Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals dropped 6.5 percent in January 2020, 17.7 percent in February. (Colombo/Apr22/2020)