TUI scraps trips to Sri Lanka, sends rescue plane
ECONOMYNEXT – TUI, and European travel firm said it will stop selling Sri Lanka, send a rescue plane to take off those who wanted to return after Britain hiked a travel advisory to all but essential travel following Islamist bombings on Easter Sunday.
The firm said about 200 persons from UK and another 150 from Germany were in Sri Lanka now. In Sri Lanka April is the so-called off-season.
On Saturday TUI UK will send a rescue plane.
TUI is linked with Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence travel group.
The tour group said it made the decision based on advice by both the German and British foreign ministries and have stopped taking bookings of holidays to Sri Lanka "at the present time," AFP, a news agency said.
On Friday, Dutch tour operators also announced they will be flying their customers home in the coming days from Sri Lanka.
The director of the Calamiteitenfonds group said Friday 500 Dutch tourists are affected.
UK is Sri Lanka’s top source of tourists after India and Germany and the Netherlands are among the to European source markets.
Muslim extremists bombed three Christian churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday killing over 250 persons.
Police had said rapid progress was being made to arrest members of two groups involved in the attacks and close down the network.
Over 70 persons had been arrested and several hideouts raided.
Sri Lanka said it feared a 30 percent drop in arrivals which could generate a 1.5 billion dollar loss in tourism revenues. (Colombo/April27/2019)