Tourism industry not affected by travel advisories

The recent travel advisories issued by some countries following the political situation in the country, has not yet affected the tourism industry, although the upcoming weeks are uncertain, an industry source said. The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Germany have issued travel advisories.Kandy Hoteliers Association president said that, so far, there has not been a direct impact on the industry due to the current tour of the England Cricket team.“However, tourist numbers will definitely go down if the advisories continue,” he said.

Shamindra Fernando, president of the Galle and Hambantota region told the Sunday Times that a number of online bookings had been cancelled. But it was not certain if the cancellations were due to the current situation.“We are expecting a big crowd in Galle for the upcoming test match. The issue will arise if the bookings get cancelled owing to the current situation. Then hotels will face an issue of refunding as there are a large number of bookings.

However, a member of the Nuwara Eliya Hoteliers’ Association said he saw a gradual reduction in bookings due to the political uncertainty.“There have been a few inquiries on the prevailing situation and, as of now, there are zero bookings,” he said, adding that two advisories for the year does not portend well for tourism or the economy.

Several countries issued travel advisories earlier this year following violent incidents in Digana in March. “It is ironical that the current political uncertainty arose just five days after Sri Lanka was named as the number one travel destination in the world by Lonely Planet, a leading international travel guide,” he said.