Don’t holiday in Sri Lanka

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

In essence that is the advice from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It doesn’t actually say  “don’t go” that but dresses it up as “the FCO now advise against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka.”

Will my insurance cover me if I go to Sri Lanka? © Dan Sperrin

But those words strike fear into the hearts of tour operators because when this sort of travel advice is issued it often means that travel insurance policies become invalid. If you are planning on travelling to Sri Lanka check the small print very closely. Some insurance policies will permit travel but many, if not most, will not.

For those who have booked a trip of holiday there, it is likely that you will be contacted by your tour operator to see whether you want to switch destination. If they don’t contact you, then you should contact them particularly if you are nervous about travelling there.

The FCO advice went on to say, “Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Sri Lanka. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.”

But is the FCO right to issue such advice Remember how Tunisia and Egypt were so badly affected after similar advisories were issued. Even all these years later the FCO still advises against all but essential travel to Sharm el Sheikh effectively putting it out of bounds for British travellers unless you wish to travel without insurance. Hoteliers and attractions have been hit by the downturn.

Admittedly, not as many Britons travel to Sri Lanka as used to travel to Tunisia before 2015. The impact on tourism industries shouldn’t be as great.

But if other countries also follow the same thinking…

 The British government and the FCO are between a rock and a hard place. If they don’t warn of potential trouble in Sri Lanka they will be pilloried if there are attacks resulting in more tragedies. If they do then Sri Lanka will suffer a downturn in tourism because other countries may follow the UK’s lead.

Finally there is the age old argument of whether you are allowing terrorists to win if you stay away. By travelling there you are telling them that there is no value in the attacks and you will not be frightened away. But if you have a family how far will you take a risk

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