Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has according to a report by PTI , has fervently appealed to the international community, including India, to lift travel the warnings issued after the Easter Sunday terror attacks, as the country’s tourist arrivals dipped 7.5 per cent last month.
Following Sri Lanka’s worst terror attack, India issued an advisory for its nationals in the country. India is the largest source market for Sri Lanka, which received 2.3 million tourists from around the world in 2018. Around 450,000 Indian tourists visited Sri Lanka last year and the island nation was expecting the total Indian tourist arrivals to cross one million in 2019.
The terror attacks on three luxury hotels and three churches on April 21 killed 253 people, including over 40 foreigners. Ten Indians were among the dead. President Sirisena urged the diplomatic community in Sri Lanka to lift the travel warnings since security in the country has been strengthened, Colombo Gazette reported.
The US, China, the UK, India and Australia were among the countries which issued travel warnings on Sri Lanka. Tourism accounts for about five per cent of Sri Lanka’s economy, with India, Britain and China being the main markets. The country earned about USD 4.4 billion in 2018 from the tourism sector.
Meanwhile, according to official tourism arrival figures released on Tuesday, the first monthly report since the terror attacks, showed that Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals declined 7.5 per cent in April 2019 compared to the same period last year