Holidaying in Sri Lanka

By | Category: Travel destinations

Two days after the attacks om churches and hotels in Sri Lanka in which 290 people lost their lives and over 500 were injured, there is still confusion about the atrocities.

Sri Lanka elephants; one of the many reasons holidaymakers spend time in the country

No organisation has claimed responsibility for the attacks on churches and hotels in Colombo, Negombo, Dehiwela and Batticaloa but religious extremists have been blamed by the Sri Lankan defence minister, Ruwan Wijewardene. If this were true then that might explain the attacks on Christian churches but the hotels?

Whilst there has been quick condemnation and messages of support from nations around the world

Attacking three hotels that feature in many tour operator holidays might be considered an attack on tourists especially since it is thought that among the dead are people from the UK, Denmark, Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey, Japan, India, China and Australia.

Whether it was or not, some holidaymakers considering Sri Lanka as a tourism destination might be wary of booking holidays there.

Since the civil war ended some ten years ago, tourism has struggled to recover. Only about two-and-a-half million people visit the country each year whereas given the population and the heritage, wildlife and beach destinations that the country could offer, you might expect many more. This year the tourist board was hoping that some four million people would holiday in Sri Lanka. It would be a thumbing of the nose to those that were behind this concerted attack if that figure was met.

tea plantations in Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan tea plantations. Tours around plantations are popular

Those deterred from travelling should think. Just as in France, Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Kenya, Tunisia and Egypt by not holidaying in countries, visitors are conceding to the extremists. Without tourism, people become unemployed and the economy suffers. That suffering brings about dis-satisfaction amongst the population allowing a breeding ground for fanatics.

The Sri Lankan authorities need to, and will, tighten security at hotels just as happened at many countries in the world. Whatever organisation is behind this outrage needs to be told that visitors will still holiday in Sri Lanka.

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