Premier appeals to global community to lift Travel Advisories

Premier appeals to global community to lift Travel Advisories

(FASTNEWS|COLOMBO) – Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday (24) appealed to the international community to lift travel warnings issued after the Easter bombings, assuring that the security situation has improved in the country after the crackdown on extremist groups and their networks.

During a meeting with the diplomatic community, the Prime Minister observed that the lives of the people were returning to normalcy while security arrangements were being implemented to its fullest extent.

Representatives of the country’s security apparatus had told the Foreign Envoys that the law would be enforced to its fullest extent on those who stir up incidents of extremism in the country, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

Earlier this month, President Maithripala Sirisena also appealed to the international community to lift travel warnings.

Several countries, including Australia, India, United Kingdom (UK), and United States (US) advised their citizens against non-essential travel to Sri Lanka after the terror attacks on three luxury hotels and 3 Churches on 21 April that killed nearly 260 people, including over 40 foreigners.

This dealt a telling blow on the local tourism industry. Booking cancellations caused a 70 per cent slump in arrivals, the industry leaders said.

Tourism accounts for about 5 per cent of Sri Lanka’s economy, with India, Britain, and China being the main markets. The country earned about USD 4.4 billion in 2018 from the tourism sector.

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) said April recorded 166,975 foreign tourists in the country compared to 180,429 in April 2018, a 7.5 per cent dip in arrival of tourists from abroad.

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