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Research firm faults embassies over misleading travel advisories

14 January 2019 09:49 pm - 14     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A Sri Lanka-based German research institution said that misleading travel advisories by some foreign missions including the German Embassy caused a colossal loss to the Sri Lankan tourism industry. 

Chief Executive Officer of AGSEP Research, Dietmar Döring, a German national domiciled in Sri Lanka, said the recent drop of arrivals in November 2018 had become a new subject of an AGSEP Research survey.  

The survey brought to light that the drop of arrival had reached a staggering amount of cancellations of rooms in November alone, despite it being the peak season for the western part of Sri Lanka’s hotel Industries. 

He faulted the German Embassy in Colombo for issuing travel caution notices without adequate definitions and wordings to describe the factual ground situation in Sri Lanka. 

He said the German Embassy should be here in Sri Lanka on grounds of cooperation rather than on confrontations with the host country. Sri Lanka’s tourism industry lost US $ 8.096.760 in one month’s time. 

“The significant drop of tourist arrivals had been triggered in the first place by the publication of misleading ‘Travel Caution Notices’ which were related to the constitutional crisis which evolved in October 2019. 

These caution notices are frequently updated by information sent through foreign missions who are operative in Sri Lanka. The German and the British caution notices triggered the biggest negative impact on Sri Lanka’s ground situation as these embassies have portrayed Sri Lanka as a destination that when travelled to, to avoid bigger gatherings of people (German caution notice). 

The British even went one step further warning that terrorist attacks in general cannot be ruled out for Sri Lanka. Then where in the world can a terrorist attack been ruled out?” he asked. 

“When contacting the German Foreign Office in Berlin as to how these caution notices are created and formulated and as to which sources are the base of these warning, we were informed, that the main source of information is regularly obtained through their foreign missions abroad. 

In the case of the German Embassy, the question arises as to how a travel caution notice could be formulated in such a general way, that German tourists should avoid bigger gatherings of people in Sri Lanka. The German Embassy certainly would have focused on the huge demonstrations that occurred during the constitutional crisis, where tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in the capital Colombo.

However, the caution notice did not consider at all that not a single foreigner had been hurt during these demonstrations and that apart from disruptive effects on the public transport and traffic, no other major incidents had been recorded. 

Taking into consideration that the Foreign Office in Germany and all its publications carry a high credibility in the public German’s eye, their notices too are accepted by the German public as sincere and valuable information and are followed in the same way. All tourism related institutions are mandatory obliged to consider the German Foreign Office advice as facts beyond doubts,” he said.

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  Comments - 14

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  • Tinkiriya Monday, 14 January 2019 10:39 PM

    What is misleading about these travel advisories? The entire world watched in horror when our politicians ran amok by hijacking the country and our people. We should be thankful to their diplomatic efforts and our Supreme Court's intervention that averted a blood bath.

    Liberal Monday, 14 January 2019 10:41 PM

    Neo colonists. Spread of Euro power to rule the third world.

    James Ingram Monday, 14 January 2019 11:26 PM

    Tell the speaker and the PM who sold the country for their benefit . Never trust the western foreign embassies here. they are Anti Sri Lanka and Pro LTTE

    abc Tuesday, 15 January 2019 10:54 AM

    You have no problem with the crooks who launched a coup?

    James Ingram Tuesday, 15 January 2019 04:14 PM

    What's that got to do with disrupting the foreign income from tourism which effects the lifehoods of ordinary citizens of the country.For a change think as a nation not as a party.

    Mandy Monday, 14 January 2019 11:29 PM

    Also other side of the story. It is easy too say that no foreigner was in danger after the situation has settled. Even here, the Sri Lankans were somewhat cautious. Had any German or Britisher faced danger, the Embassy will be held responsible. History is a good subject to get publicity interpreting situatons later.

    Nuwan Tuesday, 15 January 2019 06:21 AM

    Then the reality is that there is still a possibility that anything can happen. Especially when Sirisena is still here, the so called Tamil problem remains unresolved. The embasies shouldn't behave the way the goods and services companies do. It's ok for companies put advisories on packaging considering all possible scenarios to avoid litigation. But not for embassies.

    Lokka Tuesday, 15 January 2019 01:39 AM

    Western embassies wanted to project Sri Lanka as a dangerous place as they don't want ME in power. They Wii so any harm to this country even in future to keep their lackey R W in power.

    Punchi Banda Tuesday, 15 January 2019 06:23 AM

    Why does the splendid land of Buddha, corruption, backwardness and primitive people need to entice the inferior Christian European to generate income.It can send more of its maidens to lay on their backsides and open their legs to Arab men and boys and get more money.

    curious Tuesday, 15 January 2019 10:56 AM

    How do you know the exact position?

    Gamini Abheyadeera Tuesday, 15 January 2019 07:02 AM

    US, UK govts had been in the fore front of this and now they are facing a bigger problem on their ownBefore they speak on Sri Lanka the Ambassidor and the High Commerssioner should look back on their Govts prdicarments

    Steve Tuesday, 15 January 2019 07:11 AM

    Sri Lanka is much much safer compared to all Europe and other countries concidering the terrorists threats and bombings. Unfortunately people and politicians here don't understand the the beauty and importance of this paradise island.

    Johannes Tuesday, 15 January 2019 02:41 PM

    This is purely a result of the anti Mahinda Rajapaksha campaign. With lovely Ranil is now all peaceful, unfortunately Christmas and New Year is over with a considerable lost for tourism industry in Sri Lanka.

    Huna Tuesday, 15 January 2019 06:11 PM

    It was RW and UNP members who spread the misinformation when they had countless meetings with foreign delegations


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