Tourist arrivals in Colombo to drop by 50% after bombings- Sri Lanka tourism chief
“Tourist arrivals in areas outside Colombo are likely to fall by about 30 per cent as a result of the attacks.
“Sri Lanka was facing lost tourism revenues of about 750 million dollars this year,’’ Gomes told newsmen at a travel conference in Dubai.
SriLankan Airlines’ chief executive Vipula Gunatilleka told Reuters that the carrier had a 10 per cent increase in cancellations recently and expects that number to rise.
A collapse in tourism following the attacks on churches and hotels would deal a severe blow to the island’s economy and financial markets, and potentially force it to seek further assistance from the International Monetary Fund.
Tourism was Sri Lanka’s third largest and fastest growing source of foreign currency in 2018, after private remittances and textile and garment exports, accounting for almost 4.4 billion dollars or 4.9 per cent of gross domestic product in 2018.
Gomes said the tourism bureau had targeted 2.5 million visitors in 2019.
“We will probably reach about 2 million
“We are looking at providing some concessions to the industry for them to be able to maintain their viability for the next few months,” Gomes told newsmen.
He said that confidence could return if the military is able to give assurances on security.
“If the military can come out over the next few days and make a strong statement with respect to security that’s when we will obviously offer a bit of confidence.