Sri Lanka tourist arrivals fall 7.5 percent in April after bombings

ECONOMYNEXT – Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka fell 7.5 percent from a year earlier to 166,975 in April amid the Easter Sunday bombings, the state tourism office said.

The Easter Sunday bombings killed over 250 people, including 42 foreigners, and injured over 500, including 37 foreigners.

India, traditionally Sri Lanka’s largest tourism market,  fell to second place with arrivals falling 21.5 percent to 29,860 tourists in April

The United Kingdom took the number one spot, with arrivals falling 5.2 percent to 26,063 tourists.

The Chinese market fell 18.3 percent to 14,263 tourists, while arrivals from Australia fell 31.8 percent to 9,565 visitors.

Two major markets recorded growth despite the terror attacks. Arrivals from Germany growing 56.7 percent to 16,930 holidaymakers while 7,411 tourists came from France, up 23.4 percent.

So far, 37 countries have issued travel advisories on Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Chairman Kishu Gomes said that based on information available, arrivals are expected to fall 60 percent in May.

He is expecting arrivals to fall 30 percent in 2019, and recover within 13 months or sooner, as long as there are no additional terror attacks.

Sri Lanka is expected to lose 1.5 billion US dollars in revenue from tourism in 2019.

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The government has been frequently blocking social media and imposing curfews in different parts of the island since the attacks to maintain security. (Colombo/May06/2019-SB)

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