Destinations

Sri Lanka Tourism outlines recovery plan following Easter Sunday terror attacks

One week on from the deadliest terror attacks perpetrated in Sri Lanka since the end of the Civil War, the country’s tourism board has revealed how it responded and outlined its recovery plan.

In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, the tourism board has revealed that trained teams were deployed to the affected hotels, all hospitals and the airport to ensure all tourists directly affected by the attacks received the care, attention and assistance they needed.

In addition to the help desks at hotels, airports and tourist information centres, Sri Lanka Tourism set up an emergency hotline to ensure tourists and their loved ones back home had access to accurate information and the entire suite of emergency services.

Updated information continues to be issued via local and global media, social media, and foreign missions on a regular basis.

Sri Lanka Tourism chairman Kishu Gomes (pictured above) said it was important to review emergency response protocol in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.

He said the tourism board was focused on organising our response in emergency care and assistance, providing access to clear and accurate information, and working with all national and local law enforcement agencies and foreign missions to ensure the safety and security of tourists.

“Addressing security issues is a prerequisite for the revival of tourism, and we continue working closely with all relevant authorities to support all foreign nationals in the country,” he said.

“Sri Lankan police and Tri forces are working tirelessly to ensure the safety and security of all tourists currently in Sri Lanka. This is absolutely our first priority.”

With one in every 10 Sri Lankan families depending on tourism for their livelihood both directly and indirectly, Gomes said the tourism board is focused on ensuring that the right groundwork is laid to drive an effective and efficient recovery of the industry.

“We cannot allow ourselves to become paralysed by fear. Nearly half a million families across the island depend on us for their daily living; the impact on our economy must be mitigated,” he said.

“We are working to regain the confidence of global travellers and operators by demonstrating that Sri Lanka’s response to the incident is effective, while reassuring future tourists that all appropriate steps are being taken by the Sri Lanka government to prevent any future incidents and ensure the continued safety and security tourists within the country.”

Several high-level, cross-industry working sessions that included both the public and private sector stakeholders have been conducted with the objective of outlining the strategic framework of the recovery strategy, according to the tourism board.

These have been accompanied by a phased-out action plan with the objective of minimising the financial impact of cancellations, as well as maintaining and rebuilding the country brand, and managing the long-term impact of the tragic incident.

Planned promotional activity to go ahead

Sri Lanka Tourism has decided to continue all planned promotion activity to ensure the protection of the industry and renew confidence in the destination from wider global tourism communities.

Sri Lanka Tourism made its presence felt at ATM in Dubai this week, with the country’s delegation beginning day one of the event by observing two minutes silence in honour of the innocent victims, as well as arranging a book of condolence to be placed at the Sri Lanka pavilion for visitors to sign and write messages of sympathy to the victims and their families.

Furthermore, Sri Lanka Tourism will address the tourism community at the prestigious fifth UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in San Sabastian in Spain this week.

The Sri Lanka Convention Bureau will also be present at IMEX in Frankfurt later this month.  IMEX is a worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events – a sector that is a major growth driver for the Sri Lanka market.

The only tourism and travel fair in Sri Lanka, Sancharaka Udawa, will be held in on 7 and 8 June.

This unique exhibition, now in its ninth edition, is open to all businesses within the local tourism ecosystem and is organised by Sri Lanka Association of Tour Operators (SLAITO) in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB).

The 14th edition of The Lanka Challenge which flagged off on 20 April successfully concluded on 27 April at Suriya Resort Waikkaka. This event was organised by Large Minority in association with Connaissance de Ceylan, and sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism and SriLankan Airlines.

This unique rally saw 53 International participants ride in 20 tuk tuks across a 1000-kilometre route that track through Sri Lanka.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Road & Rail

London’s Crossrail project faces further delays, as costs increase

by Christian Fleetwood

The opening of a monumental London railway project, which would connect Heathrow Airport and other landmarks, has been pushed back amid mounting costs.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airlines exposed for money-saving ‘fuel tankering’ practice that increases emissions

by Christian Fleetwood

A UK investigation has revealed an unsettling cost-cutting practice at airlines that sees hundreds of kilograms of additional emissions produced per flight.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

“It’s all too unreal to be true”: Sir Richard Branson unveils Virgin Australia, Virgin Voyages partnership

by Christian Fleetwood

Virgin Group’s founder pulled out all the stops at last night’s announcement, and pulled the cork on a few bottles of champers, too.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Berlin bans actors posing as American soldiers at Checkpoint Charlie

by Christian Fleetwood

A group of actors who pose as American GIs at the site of Checkpoint Charlie have been given the boot by authorities after accusations they were heckling tourists.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“We’re responding to what the market is telling us”: Qantas to axe Sydney–Beijing service

by Christian Fleetwood

Flights between Sydney and Beijing are set to become a thing of the past, with Qantas advising it plans to axe the service next year. Click here to see why.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

BUSHFIRES UPDATE: Flights cancelled and Airbnb hosts open their doors

Dozens of flights were cancelled yesterday as firefighters continue to battle catastrophic bushfires across New South Wales and Queensland. 

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean founder, Edwin Stephan, dies age 87

In 1969 Stephan founded the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, and his contributions helped create the modern cruise industry we know today.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Passport typo ruins Sydney woman’s first holiday in 20 years

Let this story serve as a reminder to tell your clients to check and DOUBLE check the details on their travel documents.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruise wrap: Silversea launches book, Hurtigruten ship named in ice + MORE!

SURPRISE! It’s a cruise wrap from your pals at Travel Weekly! It’s a surprise because we thought it was Friday and almost forgot to put this wrap together.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Midweek Interview with Plaza Premium Lounges’ Stuart Vella

This week, Plaza Premium Lounges’ national general manager took us for a spin on his motorbike and told us all about his two Siamese cats – Seth & Zeke. Then he emailed us the answers to this interview.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Instagrammer slammed for “disrespectful”, “tasteless” Auschwitz shot

by Christian Fleetwood

The blogger has since apologised and taken down the image, which was marked as “tasteless”, “offensive” and “insensitive”, after drawing intense scrutiny on social media.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Two Australian travellers killed in rental car crash in New Zealand

by Christian Fleetwood

Two Australian women have tragically lost their lives in a head-on collision in New Zealand, shortly after arriving in the country.

Share

CommentComments