DestinationsBureau chief calls for support for half a million families who depend on tourism for a living.

Sri Lanka Tourism: We must not be paralysed by fear

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The tourism industry supports one in 10 families in Sri Lanka.
The tourism industry supports one in 10 families in Sri Lanka. Photo Credit: Ian Jarrett
Kishu Gomes, chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Bureau, with the Sri Lankan delegation at Arabian Travel Market.
Kishu Gomes, chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Bureau, with the Sri Lankan delegation at Arabian Travel Market.

The Sri Lanka delegation began Arabian Travel Market by observing two minutes silence in honor of the Easter Sunday victims. 

Sri Lanka Tourism has been outlining measures the country is taking to ensure the safety and security of tourists following the Easter Sunday bombings that killed 250, including 40 overseas visitors.

Kishu Gomes, chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Bureau, speaking in Dubai at Arabian Travel Market, said it was essential to rebuild tourism stakeholder confidence to ensure the vital recovery of the tourism industry that supports one in 10 families in Sri Lanka.  

“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,” he said.

“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.” 

Gomes said 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 accompanied by a phased out action plan with the clear objective of minimizing the financial impact of cancellations and to maintain and rebuild the country brand “and manage the long term impact of this tragic incident”.

The Sri Lanka delegation began Arabian Travel Market by observing two minutes silence in honor of the Easter Sunday victims. 

Gomes said Sri Lanka would continue to have a presence at upcoming trade shows. including this week’s UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in San Sebastian, Spain, and IMEX in Frankfurt from May 21-23.

“Sri Lankan Tourism, with the determination of its people, will recover from this tragedy, with the help and support of our friends in the global travel and tourism industry,” Gomes added.


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