There was a major terrorist attack in Sri Lanka on 21st April 2019 (Easter Sunday). The attack left 290 dead and hundreds of people injured. The Sri Lanka tourism industry is getting affected because of this. Tourists are scrambling to leave Sri Lanka and abruptly ending their vacation.
A report from Bloomberg says that the hotels in Sri Lanka are bracing themselves for the fallout caused by the terrorist event. This has been amongst the worst violence in Sri Lanka, that has not only destroyed luxury hotels and churches but also shattered the people.
A Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority official was unable to provide The number of people fleeing the country; but he said it was in thousands.
The attack is being associated with a small radical Islamic group National Thowheeth Jama’ath. Their target was not only to attack the local churchgoers but also foreigners. Out of 290 people who were killed, 39 were foreigners from the US, Australia, China, Portugal, Japan and the UK.
Terrorist Attack in Sri Lanka Causes Tourism Industry To Take Stock
Apart from this, tour operators in India have also begun cancelling their trips to Sri Lanka. This is not good news for Sri Lanka’s tourism industry especially when the tourism industry contributes nearly 5% of the country’s economy. The many tourist spots in the country remain closed as well. Hotel security after the attack has also increased.
The US, Canada, and the UK have all issued warnings; cautioning citizens about traveling to Sri Lanka, with the U.K. even raising the possibility of more attacks.
The Easter Sunday suicide bombers attacked three churches in Colombo, Negombo, and Batticaloa at 8:45 a.m. when worshipers gathered for service. In the aftermath, Sri Lankan authorities set a curfew, and blocked access to social media and messaging sites. This was done to prevent the spread of viral misinformation campaigns and ethnic violence.
Tourism Minister, John Amaratunga gathered industry leaders from the Hotels Association of Sri Lanka, Colombo City Hotels Association, and Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators on Sunday. This was done to discuss enhanced security measures, the local newspaper Daily FT, reported.