Written by Reuters
24 Apr, 2019 | 11:14 am
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Many tourists are canceling their trips to Sri Lanka, after deadly terrorist attacks left 310 people dead and over 500 injured on Easter Sunday.
The South Asian country, known for its beautiful beaches and sunsets, witnessed a sudden drop in tourist arrivals after multiple blasts ripped through churches and hotels on Sunday.
When asked how the bombings have affected business, Jetwing Hotels chairman Shiromal Cooray said it’s difficult to give exact figures, but many tourists are canceling their reservations.
“Difficult to give a percentage. But we do find a lot of people are asking, they are calling us or sending us e-mails and saying ‘is it safe to come?’ But some are not even asking, and they’re just canceling. I can’t give exact figures, but it is a decent amount of business we are losing,” said Cooray.
Sri Lankan police have arrested 40 suspects connected to the attacks, and security has been beefed up across the country.
To prevent further possible bomb attacks, the authorities have imposed curfews at night and declared a state of emergency to give the military and police more powers.
Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority chairman Kishu Gomes said the attacks’ impact on Sri Lanka’s tourism economy is inevitable, but he expressed confidence that the situation in Sri Lanka will gradually return to normal.
“Economic impact in respect of such an incident is inevitable in the short term. So we’ll have to face the consequences. But we are keen as a country and as Sri Lanka Tourism to try and rebuild the industry, with building confidence in the minds of the travelers, potential travelers, and keep moving on,” said Gomes.
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