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    Indian tourist traffic to resume from May 15 Featured

    May 12, 2019

    NEW DELHI: Indian tourist traffic to Sri Lanka is expected to resume from Wednesday (May 15), SriLankan Airlines’ Regional Manager for North India, Nepal and Bangladesh Chinthaka Weerasinghe said. Soon after the Easter Sunday blasts rocked the island on April 21, the Government of India had issued an advisory, asking Indians to visit Sri Lanka only if it is essential. Thereafter, tourist traffic from India saw a 50% drop.

    "But the situation is getting better and better in Sri Lanka on a daily basis. And the Indian tourist traffic will be back to normal from this week onwards," Weerasinghe said. More Indian tourists visit Sri Lanka than those from any other country. Last year, out of 2.2 million foreign tourists who had a holiday in the emerald island, 450,000 were Indians. This means every fifth foreign tourist who enjoys a vacation in Sri Lanka is an Indian.
    Subhash Goyal, Chairman of the Assocham Expert Committee on Tourism, said: "I met a family just back from a holiday in Sri Lanka. They said, "Everything is back to normal. We had a good time, and faced no problems whatsoever". He added: "Sri Lanka is one of the safest tourist destinations in the world today. Tourists did not stop visiting London, Paris or Mumbai after those great cities were rocked by terrorist attacks. I see no reason why tourists should stop going to Sri Lanka because a handful of terrorists had caused mayhem on Easter Sunday."
    "Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, and India’s next door neighbour.We must make sure that terrorists do not succeed in their efforts to destabilize Sri Lanka’s economy by indulging in senseless acts of terrorism. We must prove them wrong by continuing to visit that country in large numbers," Goyal declared. The physical proximity between India and Sri Lanka, and the attractive exchange rate (INR 1+LKR 2.52) are tempting attractions even for budget-conscious tourists. SriLankan is currently charging INR 15,000 for a Delhi-Colombo-Delhi trip.

     Indian tourists are globe-trotters and big spenders, too. Last year, 26 million Indian tourists travelled abroad and spent US$94 billion. Weerasinghe and Goyal expressed the hope that the India Government will soon withdraw its advisory cautioning its citizens to undertake only essential travel to Sri Lanka.



    Last modified on Sunday, 12 May 2019 12:35

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