Sri lanka News – Hotels across Sri Lanka are only booked up to 15% in the festive seasons in August, the month in which most hoteliers were expecting to receive more tourists for Kandy Perehera and the Nallur festivals in Northern Jaffna peninsula amid political upheaval.
“The bookings are not encouraging for this month and the next. There are cancellations as well,” M. Shantikumar, the President of Sri Lanka Hotels Association told EconomyNext.
“The current occupancy in hotels across the island and even at city hotels is on average between 10-15 percent.”
He said everything depends on the local political situation, which has seen a volatility after strong protests led to the resignation of former leader Gotabaya Rajapaksa who fled the country on July 13, resignation of the cabinet three times, and change in the key ministers.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who got elected on July 20 after a parliament vote has promised an all-party government while he is running the country with a temporarily appointed cabinet.
“We have got a President but we haven’t got a proper government. What we need at the moment is political stability for the foreign missions to understand and revoke the travel advisory,” he said.
“As long as there is travel advisory, there will be less traffic coming to the country.”
According to reports, Sri Lanka has only received about 47,000 tourists for the month of July.
The country was expecting to attract around 800,000 tourists for the rest of the year since mid-June, with an estimated revenue of 800 million US dollars.
At its peak, tourism has helped boost foreign inflows by over $4 billion, the highest after garment exports and remittances.
The industry officials in the past have said they were confident of hitting the numbers despite receiving only about 1,000 tourist arrivals per day on the hopes that more tourists would visit for Kandy Esala Perahera and Nallur Hindu kovil festival followed by the winter travel season, which brings most foreign visitors in the island nation. (Colombo/Aug 05/2022)