Sri Lanka says tourism ‘picking up’ as European restrictions are eased

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 03 October 2007, 08:07 GMT]
Sri Lanka is confident of achieving its target of attracting 600,000 tourists this year following the relaxation of travel advisories in key markets, tourist board (SLTB) officials were quoted as saying this week. Germany, Britain, France and Netherlands have softened travel restrictions on their citizens, press reports say. However, citing falling tourist arrivals, an international hotels group slashed prices at its hotels in Sri Lanka by 50% until 2008, press reports also said.

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism in Milinda Moragoda, who crossed over, with 17 others from the main opposition UNP to the ruling SLFP party, in January this year.

The SLTB is confident the winter season will be better than last year's as European countries have lifted and relaxed some of the travel warnings that were in force, lankaBusinessOnline reported this week.

"The French travel advisory has been liberalized now and is more conducive for the French tourists to visit us. The Netherlands have also lifted their travel advisory," Kalaiselvan, director general of SLTB said.

"These are good signs to say that the situation in Sri Lanka is conducive for tourists to visit."

However, the Aman group, which runs five-star properties across Asia, has cut room rates at its two hotels in the island, the UK’s Sunday Times reported.

Announcing the halving of its room rates, Aman said its discount remains valid until September 2008 and was introduced “following a decline in international tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka associated with the impact of civil conflict”.

The SLTB suggest that Aman is exaggerating the effects of the unrest to conceal the fact that its rooms are overpriced, and British tour operators are reporting increasing demand for the island’s tropical beaches.

“Sri Lanka is well on the road to recovery,” says Frances Tuke, of ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA). “[Tour operator] First Choice has launched weekly charter flights and arrivals last year were back to 90% of pretsunami levels.”

Sri Lanka remains on a British Foreign Office advisory list that also includes Afghanistan, Colombia, Israel and Iraq.

British High Commissioner Dominick Chilcott was quoted in Sri Lanka’s Sunday Times as also saying the island’s tourism industry suffered a terrible blow after the spate of violence but there are signs that tourist arrivals may be picking up again.

He was quoted as saying the 2007 figures in Sri Lanka are dismal with tourist arrivals down by 24% for the first six months.

"There are signs that things are picking up again. Let's hope so," Mr. Chilcott said.

Sri Lanka’s government last week quoted a French security analysis firm, Securite Sans Frontieres, as saying the island was safe for tourists.

“SSF arrived at this conclusion after an evaluation conducted over a period of 12 days covering various tourism sites, hotel infrastructures, airport and other forms of transport as well as general conditions of security - political, social, health and weather- in Sri Lanka,” the government statement said.

“The in-depth study of the security conditions has permitted us to make specific and detailed technical recommendations,” the statement quoted Frederic Bauer, President of SSF as saying.

“The terrorist risk is not that greater in Sri Lanka than other countries visited by the French.” “ In conclusion, the security situation for us is acceptable for tourism visits to Sri Lanka and I take responsibility for recommending the destination for French Tourists.”



Latest 15 Reports
04.02.24 15:40   Photo
சியோனிசம் காணும் தோல்வி ஈழத்தமிழருக்குப் பலன் தரவல்ல படிமை மாற்றத்தின் அறிகுறி
24.04.22 05:44  
தீவின் நெருக்கடிச் சூழலில் ஈழத்தமிழர் தேசம் கடைப்பிடிக்கவேண்டிய நிலைப்பாடுகள்
09.04.22 14:44   Photo
குறிதவறும் ஈழத்தமிழர் தலைமைகளுக்கு வரலாறு தருகின்ற எச்சரிக்கை
21.01.22 07:24   Photo
ஈழத்தமிழர் தேசத்தின் தலைமைத்துவம் தேர்தல் அரசியற் கட்சிகளுக்கு அப்பாலானது
02.11.21 15:32   Photo
13 ஆம் சட்டத்திருத்தத்தால் கட்டமைக்கப்பட்ட இன அழிப்பை எதிர்கொள்ள முடியுமா?
15.09.21 08:19  
English version not available
17.05.21 19:23   Photo
Ananthi blames war criminal Silva for blocking collective memorial at Mu'l'livaaykkaal
09.04.21 14:46  
English version not available
23.03.21 12:41   Photo
No focus on Tamil genocide, geopolitics gets played out in Geneva in favour of QUAD formation
21.03.21 13:34   Photo
Navi Pillay explains ‘human rights’ limitations in Geneva on Tamil genocide
15.03.21 20:36   Photo
Deceived Tamil activists in UK falsely claimed ‘substantial changes’ to Zero draft
09.03.21 21:34   Photo
UK repeatedly wronged Tamils says hunger-striker, demands genocide justice
26.02.21 11:53   Photo
Tamils witness false dilemma in Geneva as geopolitical formations pit against each other
19.02.21 14:02   Photo
UK not prepared to push for ICC option in new UNHRC Resolution
07.02.21 23:16   Photo
Unprecedented P2P uprising paves the way for rights-oriented politics of Tamils and Muslims
Find this article at: