Written by Staff Writer
13 May, 2020 | 9:22 pm
COLOMBO (News1st): Popular international vlogger Nuseir Yassin has named Sri Lanka as the most generous country during the coronavirus pandemic for assisting stranded tourists amid an economic crisis.
The South Asian island nation’s “Tourism Disaster Monitoring and Hosting Programme” drew heavy praise from Yassin, in a video posted by his company Nas Daily Corporation, circulating widely on social media.
The programme had been launched by the National Association for Professionals in Tourism and the Tourist Police, to identify and assist stranded tourists by providing dry rations and other facilities.
“Even when tourism went down to zero, Sri Lanka continued to treat tourists with dignity and respect,” Yassin said.
He pointed out that 14 tourists stranded in Elle – 112 kilometres from capital Colombo, had been treated as “family” by residents who provided them food and accommodation.
Sri Lanka bolted its doors for passenger flights and ships in mid-March as part of efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus but has permitted the departure of flights.
However, travel restrictions imposed in other countries saw at least 11,000 tourists being stranded in the island nation.
Sri Lanka, known for its serenity and diverse climates, thrives on the tourism industry which has been badly affected due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to the country’s economic woes.
“Us, tourists should finally pay back Sri Lanka for these acts of kindness. We should visit their country, stay in local hotels, and help their economy,” Yassin remarked.
The tourism industry, which faced a severe blow after last year’s terrorist attacks, was expected to recover this year, but authorities have predicted tourist arrivals for 2020 to fall short of its four million target due to the spread of the coronavirus.
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