SL may face only 10% decline in tourist arrivals

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Colombo, Aug 29 (IANS) Sri Lanka may face only a 10 per cent fall in tourist arrivals this year from the expected 30 per cent following the Easter Sunday terror attacks which killed over 250 people, officials said on Thursday.

Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Chairman Johanne Jayaratne told journalists that the island nation was expecting 2.1 million tourists this year as arrivals had picked up once again following the setback suffered from the attacks, and the government was expecting the industry to completely recover by October.

He said several countries had relaxed their travel advisories which helped the tourism sector revive faster, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Russia has still not lifted the travel advisory,” said Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga said.

“I hope they will also relax it now as we have lifted the emergency law as well,” Amaratunga added.

Sri Lanka welcomed 2.33 million tourists in 2018, bringing a revenue of $4.4 billion. This year, Sri Lanka is targeting $3.5 billion in tourism revenue.

–IANS

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