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Sri Lanka sees 5-10 per cent drop in Indian tourist arrivals this year

Sri Lanka Monday said it is expecting Indian tourists arrival to up to 4 lakh. The island nation was expecting a 25 per cent growth from Indian travellers this year, over 5 lakh visitors from around 4,25,000 last year.

PTI PTI
Mumbai Published on: June 24, 2019 17:59 IST
A 17th century built Dutch fort, which was a popular
Image Source : AP IMAGES

A 17th century built Dutch fort, which was a popular tourist site, stands empty in Galle, Sri Lanka.

The recent bombings in Sri Lanka during Easter, which has drastically hit the country's tourism sector, is expecting 5-10 per cent decline in Indian tourist arrival this year.

Sri Lanka Monday said it is expecting Indian tourists arrival to up to 4 lakh. The island nation was expecting a 25 per cent growth from Indian travellers this year, over 5 lakh visitors from around 4,25,000 last year.

India accounts for the most number of visitors to Sri Lanka.

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Sri Lanka is trying to woo visitors, after Islamist bombers on April 21 attacked luxury hotels and churches, killing 250 people, including 40 foreigners.

Noting that 11 countries including India have relaxed their travel advisory, Sri Lanka's Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga told reporters, "We were moving along to our expectation of 5,00,000 visitors from India but unfortunately, the events of April 21 have derailed our expectation...Sri Lanka is now safe to travel. I can give assurance or guarantee to all Indian people that Sri Lanka remains secure."

The Sri Lanka tourism board said that the military has dismantled the outfit that carried out the attacks and the intelligence sources have said that such co-ordinated attacks won't be carried out in the country.

The country is expecting around 2 million visitors this year from around the world, as against 2.3 million last year.

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In May this year, it witnessed 70 per cent decline in tourists compared to last year.

It is offering packages designed for India at nearly 50-60 per cent discount.

Amaratunga said that Sri Lanka is toying with the idea to offer free visa and visa on arrival to Indian visitors but it has been put on hold following the attacks in April. 

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