Sri Lanka sees tourist arrivals after lifting temporary closure of borders
Sri Lanka has on Tuesday (1) welcomed tourists from eight passenger flights after the lifting of a temporary ban on inbound travellers.
Airport Aviation Service (Lanka) Ltd. has reportedly said these travellers were disembarked at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) from flights operated by Qatar Airways, Emirates and six SriLankan Airlines.
“We hope the numbers will gradually increase towards the latter part of the year as a result of the rapid vaccination program throughout the country,” AASL Vice Chairman Rajeeva Sooriyaarachchi has told the Daily FT.
There are close to 2,000 tourists in the country at present.
With the lifting of the temporary ban on inbound passengers to the country, a total of 567 people had arrived, in addition to 52 crew members and 120 transit passengers.
However, all tourists must engage in a 14-day mandatory quarantine, while restrictions are still maintained on passengers who have a travel history to Vietnam and India in the recent past.
Previously, passenger flights were banned from 21-31 May as part of overall measures to curb the rapid spread of Covid-19 in the country.
After a near 10-month closure, Sri Lanka on 21 January re-opened borders to resume inbound international travel to the country. Since then, over 13,000 tourists have arrived while complying with health and safety guidelines.
Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the country when the global Covid 19 pandemic affected global travel. The country recorded tourist arrivals after it reopened its borders earlier this year and is once again recording arrivals after lifting the 10 day temporary closure last month. Sri Lanka being listed as a must visit destination by several leading global travel publications and the country receiving the health and hygienic certification, have made it a top travel destination in post Covid travel. Many international hospitality brands have expressed interest in entering Sri Lanka. The proposed Port City project in Colombo would also attract tourists to the country once completed. Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is once again on the path to recovery amidst Covid 19 and foreign businesses/investors could explore the growing opportunities in the country’s tourism industry.
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