- Indian, the USA and the UK issued travel advisories after the blasts in Sri Lanka
- Hotels and Sri Lankan airlines offer heavy discounts
- Bookings beginning to increase for the winter season
Tourism plays an important role in the Sri Lankan economy. However, given the recent bombing, tourist arrivals in the country have dropped.
After the attacks, a number of countries including India, the USA, and the UK issued travel advisories for Sri Lanka.
The industry is now wooing visitors back with promotions and reduced hotel rates. Let’s see how tourism in Sri Lanka is coping.
Tourism In Sri Lanka Over the Years
The Ceylon Tourist Board was established by the Sri Lankan government in 1966. Promotional activities by this board led to the rapid expansion of tourism in the country.
Some of the major attractions promoted include the historical city of Kandy, the city of Anuradhapura, tea plantations and the Sri Lanka mountain ranges.
Tourism in Sri Lanka has not seen an even growth pattern. The civil conflict that started in 1983 had an adverse effect on tourism and brought down year on year arrivals by 43%.
The numbers continued to drop till 1990. Since then the numbers have fluctuated but shown an overall increase. In 2018, Sri Lanka welcomed 2,333,796 tourists.
Tourism In Sri Lanka – Promotions
Key markets such as Russia are being flooded with promotions and slashes hotel rates. The country is also hosting international sporting events. The government-owned Sri Lankan airline is offering special discounted fares in a joint promotion with the country’s tourism board.
Hotels such as the Lavanga Resort & Spa in Hikkaduwa are offering discounts of more than 50%.
Rooms that would earlier cost $75, are now available at $35 with a complimentary breakfast.
Tourism In Sri Lanka – How The Industry Is Recovering
As a result of the promotions in place, hotels are now beginning to see bookings bounce back. The average number of international tourists in Sri Lanka has increased from 1000 just after the attacks to between 1400 and 1500.