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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2422

Foreign traveler cautiously trickle down to Sri Lanka

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Colombo, 18 September, (Asiantribune.com): To see any substaintial progress in the tourism industry, the most important and the only prerequisite is to stop the war and to establish peace in the country, as you cannot have good tourism industry in the country, while there is war like the proverb "You can't have the cake and have it". While there are various views are expressed with regard to the present status of the tourist industry in Sri Lanka now, the ground realities are quite different from those views. Those in the industry never lets it down, while critics assert that the industry is doomed.

The real situation is that the industry has been alarmed at the continuing war and the Southern sector that has major concentration of tourist hotels are still trying to recover from the major shock of 2004 Tsunami coupled with war drums heard. Further, the present Tsunami alerts too are renewing the ghostly horrors that still linger in the travel industry in Sri Lanka.

The travel industry in Sri Lanka has invested enormous amounts, but still failed to muster adequate returns on these vast investments. Further the country is at a great loss that these investments are locked up and would not be able to use for alternate purposes. Therefore whether one likes it or not, the future of travel industry lies with attaining peace in the country as it is the most important pre-requisite. Foreign tourists sun-bathing at one of the Four Star hotels in the Bentota - Beruwala tourism sector. Foreign tourists sun-bathing at one of the Four Star hotels in the Bentota - Beruwala tourism sector.

In actual fact that almost the entire world is facing violent situations, mostly fighting with insurgents and while Sri Lanka too has been in that situation for a long time some tourists are used to such situations. When major violent activities subside, some of them would trickle down here.
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That is what is exactly happening in the Southern tourist Sector – a cautious and slow upward trend is experienced. There are sporadic groups of foreign tourists in these hotels and the travel industry people are eagerly watching the gradual increase in the traveller climaxing towards the winter season.

On the other hand travel industry here is reaping the results of the stable corporate sector as mostly the corporate sector in their welfare and other corporate NICE activities select these hotels and this to some extent compensates the heavy losses they would incur due to the depleted foreign tourist inflow.

In one of the four star hotels in the Bentota-Beruwala sector the weekend was full-up and one of the late corporate packages was 250 strong for a two day conference for their staff and there would be several such packages per week. In addition there are also families relaxing and spend the weekend holiday, in these hotels.

Thus it is a consoling situation in the travel industry, where local tourists also increasingly making use of star class and other hotels and destinations, which could offset the impact caused by the low foreign tourist inflow.

- Asian Tribune -

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