Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka have started to gradually increase, following the post- Ester Sunday tragic incident, said Charmarie Maelge, Managing Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.Noting that tourism arrival is on a recovery mode with some tourists visiting Sri Lanka after the Easter Sunday incident, she said tourist arrival numbers are picking up and there is an increased interest from travelers especially from those who prefer to visit crowd free destinations.
She expressed these views speaking at a tourism seminar, organized by the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management in Colombo last week.“Still there are certain amounts of new bookings at hotels in Arugam Bay because some travelers want that crowd free experience,” she said. Despite the fact that tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka plummeted drastically soon after the Easter Sunday incident, she expressed confidence that tourist numbers would increase and Sri Lankan tourism industry would reach its targets in the due course.
She further said that Sri Lanka would not change or reduce any of the previous planned destination marketing and promotional activities in its annual plan owing to Easter Sunday tragic incident. In addition to that, she mentioned that they have added several new campaigns to enhance some of the promotions and marketing efforts to revive the industry activities in an aggressive manner.Furthermore, she stressed that there is an enabling environment in Sri Lanka, in particular for hoteliers to sell their services with several countries taking measures to lift travel advisories on Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, a senior representative at the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) also speaking at the event said that some people still continue to share sensational images of the country in order to get the sympathy of their friends overseas and noted that the negative messages will always impact, deteriorate and discourage tourists who wish to visit Sri Lanka for various reasons.