Tourism in Sri Lanka in 2021 and the Challenges with the COVID 19 Pandemic

Tourism in Sri Lanka in 2021 and the Challenges with the COVID 19 Pandemic

Tourism in Sri Lanka is one of the most tourist-attracted places in the world for centuries. The country has been popular among foreign travelers for its vast diversity of nature and sandy beaches. The country ended its civil war which lasted almost 25 years in 2009 and it increased the countries tourists’ arrival growth nearly from 300 percent after many years.

But this speedy growth showed a massive slump after the “Easter Sunday Attack” in the year 2019. Also, it causes a 70% drop in tourists’ arrivals and around a $1.5 billion loss from the tourism industry. But despite unfortunate events country’s tourism industry witnessed a revival by attracting 1.9 million tourists afterward. However, not only Sri Lanka whole the world was shocked by the COVID 19 pandemic.

United Nations World Tourism Organizations statics showed that arrivals of the international tourists around the world dropped by 20%-30% and this cause a loss of around 290 million- 440 million tourists in one year and it have made a huge loss of around $300 billion – $400 billion. According to the UNWTO records, this loss is equal to the growth of the industry for five to seven years. Even though many developed countries separating billions to protect the industry developing countries like Sri Lanka is still struggling with the issue.

According to the reports released by Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) countries’ tourist arrivals fell by 70.8% at the beginning of the year and the country has to suspend all the passengers in March. The country has the worse hit as the tourism industry is the third biggest foreign exchange earner in Sri Lanka. Also, it has been reported that nearly 2lack of direct and indirect employees were temporally unemployed and it has made a significant impact on the families depending on the tourism. Not only the employees but also the investors in the industry are facing a huge financial crisis.

However, the country reopened in January 2021 under the “bio bubble” concept. The government has issued a special guideline for the tourists. With that Sri Lanka has welcomed around 5000 tourists in February. But the country is facing a huge crisis with the start of its third wave of the coronavirus spreading in April.

The country is still dealing with the issue while many surveys suggesting Sri Lanka’s virus spread rate as 82% and marking it as the second-highest in South Asia.