Rooms 50% off and ads in Russia: Sri Lanka woos tourists after attacks

11 June 2019 09:45 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

A tourist disembarks from MS Europa 2 cruise ship at the main port in Colombo,   on  June 7, 2019
(Reuters photo)

 

(Colombo) REUTERS: Sri Lanka’s battered tourism industry is trying to woo visitors back to beaches deserted after deadly Easter bombings, slashing hotel rates and pushing promotions in key markets like Russia.


Tourism, which accounts for 5 percent of Sri Lanka’s gross domestic product, tanked after Islamist bombers on April 21 attacked luxury hotels and churches, killing 250 people, including 40 foreigners.


England, India and the United States were among countries that issued travel advisories for Sri Lanka, a diverse island with pristine beaches, ancient Buddhist temples and lush hills that Lonely Planet selected as its top 2019 destination.


Those advisories contributed to a flood of cancellations and a drop in bookings just as the monsoon-dominated low season was beginning.


To lure tourists back, Sri Lanka is hosting international sporting events and has mothballed a rule on minimum rates for hotel stays. State-owned SriLankan Airlines is offering special fares and pushing joint promotions with the government’s tourism board. Some hotels are waiving corkage fees on day trips, while tour groups are offering free airport pickups.

Lavanga Resort & Spa in the southern beach resort of Hikkaduwa, for example, is offering rooms for US $ 35 instead of the usual US $ 75 - with free breakfast. Travel agents are promoting the offer in Russia, with some success.


“We have offered rock bottom rates for foreigners. We are getting bookings for the winter season,” said Lavanga Managing Director Anusha Frydman.


Reservations for the next few months remain tepid, however, with occupancy around 10 percent versus 30 percent last year.


But some tourists are lapping up a dream vacation on the cheap.


“I secured a six-night stay in a plush southern hotel for US $ 200 which included complimentary ayurvedic treatment,” said 52-year-old Leif Ohlson from Sweden.
Data suggests more and more foreigners are emulating him.


A daily average of 1,400 to 1,500 foreign visitors are currently in Sri Lanka, up from 1,000 recorded immediately after the attacks, said Kishu Gomes, the head of the 
Tourism Bureau.


That is still down from around 4,500 last year, but with countries including India and China lifting their travel advisories, officials are optimistic.


“We are expecting the recovery to commence. It is too early to say how fast and to what level it will be,” Gomes said.


A rebound could not come fast enough, however, especially for smaller hotels.


“Lots of hotels have curtailed operations and shut down wings. They may have reduced or laid off (staff),” said Hotels Association of Sri Lanka President Sanath Ukwatta. He said he did not have any immediate data, however.

 

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

  Comments - 0

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

 

Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment




Employees’ health and safety our top-most priority - Brandix

When inquired, Brandix Apparel Limited said that health and safety of employe

“Workers who fainted had water sprinkled on their faces and had to work again”

Health authorities believe the first reported Covid-19 infected worker from t

“Social media ruined us” - husband of Minuwangoda Brandix factory worker

The Minuwangoda Brandix factory worker who first tested positive for Covid-19

Last rites far from home

The body of the Sri Lankan migrant worker Bandu who died of coronavirus in Du

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.