The German, Swiss and Austrian governments relaxed their advice against travel to Sri Lanka this week – advice put in place following the Easter Sunday massacres.
However, the UK maintained its advice against all travel, leading to demands for a relaxation as a group of Sri Lankan hoteliers, which have set up the Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance, launched a #LoveSriLanka campaign to persuade tourists to return.
The campaign hub, lovesrilanka.org, offers up-to-date advice and information, including security updates, for the travel trade and travellers.
It also provides a platform for people to show support for the destination.
Priyanjith Weerasooria, managing director of Uga Escapes, one of the companies behind the #LoveSriLanka campaign, said: “Our small island has had to overcome natural and man-made disasters over 30 years.
“We are confident the industry will overcome the challenges before us now.”
Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena has urged governments to revise advisories against all travel, put in place after the attacks, and China relaxed its advice last week.
German tour operators will now resume programmes to Sri Lanka from July 1 after the government in Berlin partially removed its warning against travel to the island.
The German foreign ministry now advises holidaymakers “to take particular care”, to avoid public places, monitor local news and stay in contact with tour operators and airlines.
Thomas Cook, Tui and DER Touristik, owner of Kuoni in the UK, confirmed they would resume holidays to Sri Lanka from July 1.
However, the companies will not offer travel to Sri Lanka from Britain until the UK Foreign Office advice changes.
Sri Lanka received more than 2.3 million international visitors in 2018 and tourism is the largest employer in the country, supporting one in 10 families.
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