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  • #23
    Sri Lanka tourism suffers cancellation tsunami post Easter Sunday terror attacks

    • Analysis by ForwardKeys reveals cancellations of existing flight bookings surged 86.2% whilst new bookings fell away
    • Forward bookings for July and August, which had been running 2.6% ahead of last year, as of 20 April, fell to 0.3% behind as of 23 April
    • Prior to the Easter atrocities Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was showing healthy growth with flight bookings in 2019 (1 Jan to 20 April) up 3.4%

    Cancellations of visits by would-be tourists post-Easter Sunday terror attacks in Sri Lanka are on the rise, prompting a global research specialist firm to flag it off as a “tsunami” whilst the Government and the tourism industry work round the clock for a faster recovery.

    Analysis by ForwardKeys, which forecasts future travel patterns by analysing over 17 million flight booking transactions a day, reveals that a tidal wave of cancellations has hit Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the horrendous terror attacks of Easter Sunday.

    It said in the three days immediately after the bombings, cancellations of existing bookings surged 86.2% whilst new bookings fell away.

    In Sri Lanka’s most important source markets, more people cancelled existing flights then made bookings on the equivalent day last year. In order of size, that comprises India, China, the UK, Australia, Germany and France. Forward bookings for July and August, which had been running 2.6% ahead of last year, as of 20 April, fell to 0.3% behind as of 23 April.

    According to ForwardKeys, prior to the Easter Sunday atrocities, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was showing healthy growth. Flight bookings to Sri Lanka in 2019 (1st Jan to 20th April) were 3.4% up on the same period in 2018. The tourism highlights were Russia, Australia and China, which showed visitor increases of 45.7%, 19.0% and 16.8% respectively.

    ForwardKeys Asia Pacific Business Development Director Jameson Wong said: “What Sri Lanka has suffered is just horrendous and our hearts go out to all the victims, their families and the people of Sri Lanka.”

    “At the moment, it is really too early to predict what the effect on tourism to Sri Lanka will be, as the initial wave of cancellations affects trips planned in the very near term. If we look back at past terrorist atrocities, it is interesting to note how different the impacts can be,” he said.

    “In the wake of the bloody siege at the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi, bookings suffered a similar collapse in the immediate aftermath; however, within less than two weeks, international arrivals returned to growth. By comparison, it has taken more than three years to see a Tunisian tourism recovery following the massacre on the beach in Sousse in 2015. We will keep the situation under review,” Wong added.

    ForwardKeys analyses more than 17 million flight booking transactions a day, drawing data from all the major global air reservation systems and selected airlines and tour operators. This information is enhanced with further independent data sets, including flight search and official government statistics, plus data science to paint a picture of who is travelling where and when. ForwardKeys’ analytics are used by travel marketers, retailers, hotels, destination marketing organisations (DMOs), financial institutions, car rental companies, tour operators, online travel agents (OTAs) and other traveller-focused businesses worldwide to monitor and anticipate traveller arrivals from a particular origin market at a specific time. This analysis enables parties to anticipate the impact of events, better manage their staffing levels, fine tune supply requirements, adjust and measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts and anticipate future market trends.

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    • #24
      The sector will rebound very fast in my opinion.
      "The best values today are often found in the stocks that were once hot and have since gone cold"

      Comment


      • #25
        i also wish this be reality. Top professional like Kishore heading the rescue act and wish there is no similar incidents coming weeks/months.

        Comment


        • #26
          Tourists are back to enjoy Colombo

          Friday, 3 May 2019





          Tourists are returning to prominent spots in Colombo in the aftermath of the deadly Easter Sunday attacks, prompting veteran hotelier Harpo Gooneratne yesterday to welcome their presence and thank them via social media. Here, several foreign nationals are pictured dining at Colombo Fort Café, one of the restaurants run by Harpo, located at the Old Dutch Hospital Complex, Fort

          http://www.ft.lk/front-page/Tourists...ombo/44-677512

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          • #27
            Occupancy rate of hotels down 70 percent: THASL

            In the aftermath of the Easter Sunday terror attacks, the occupancy rate of hotels has declined by 70 percent countrywide, Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) President Sanath Ukwatte said.

            Speaking to Daily Mirror, Mr. Ukwatte said substantial percentage of booking cancellation was reported because of the travel advisories issued by various foreign countries following the incident.

            The hotels industry is in jeopardy and we are faced with serious issues,” Mr. Ukwatte said.

            “Hence, President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called on a meeting with heads of hotels industry to discuss the matter on May 29 where it was decided to appoint a Cabinet sub-committee,” Mr. Ukwatte added. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers has decided to appoint a Cabinet sub-committee led by Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga to recommend measures to support the tourism industry consequent to what transpired following the Easter Sunday bomb attacks.

            Meanwhile, countries like the UK, the US and Saudi Arabia have issued travel advisories over the prevailing situation in the country.

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            • #28

              Very good to see/read professional Kishu in full swing and hope my country will be again attracted by foreigners soon. Lets do our part also allaying fears and bring back to normalcy soon. Forces have done splendid job and now everyone should chip in with their contribution.

              ================================================== ======================================

              Sri Lanka tourist industry seeks security statement to get back on track


              ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka's tourist industry is looking to recover from a massive blow from Easter Sunday bombings, with tighter security and promotions to entice visitors, officials said but were awaiting a government statement on security.


              "Collectively we shall bounce back," Kishu Gomes, Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau said. "We will make this the most preferred destination again. We have done it before, not once but many times." The SLTPB was in the process of hiring a global public relations agency to carry out a communications strategy and was awaiting government clearance for the budget. Gomez said tourists were still coming despite 37 travel advisories. Over 250 persons including 42 foreigners were killed in Islamic State linked bombings at three Churches and three hotels on Easter Sunday.

              "After the incidents in the first day, no attacks have taken place," he said. All later incidents were related to arrests and action by security forces in countering the terror network.

              "National security is number one. We need to be able to go out and say, the country is back on track," Gomes said. "We are working on that." The industry was looking for the government for a public security statement and update to foreign government. "Our appeals to the government are a clear and comprehensive report to the local and international media, with an update on the results of security measures taken so far, security measures in place at the moment and how you are looking at securing the country in the future," Sri Lanka Tourist Hotels Association Chairman Sanath Ukwatte said.

              "An update needs to be made to the foreign governments that have imposed travel bans, so that they can consider relaxing the travel advisories." Sri Lanka police and military were working on dismantling the terror network that carried out the bombing and assuring security at tourist sites and hotels. Military spokesman Brigadier Sumith Attapattu said security officials were focusing on preventing unrest and carrying out search operations to net the perpetrators of the bombings.

              "As a result we were able to apprehend about 70 to 80 percent of their cadres," he said. "Tourist sites have been provided security. We are ready to beef up or strengthen more if requested."

              "As at today we are in an advantageous position. We know them. We know the routes." Large hauls of material that could have been used for bombings were also found, he said.

              About 15,000 troops were deployed on the ground to provide immediate assistance. In April arrivals were down 7.5 percent. The second quarter of the year is usually the so-called off-season in Sri Lanka when monsoons make West Coast beaches rough. In May last year there were about 4,300 visitors arriving daily. In 2019 about 1700 were still coming, Gomes said.

              This was about 60 percent of the level seen last year. Large travel companies had stopped selling Sri Lanka after insurers backed off in the face of travel advisories, Haritha Perera, head of Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators said. "But individual travelers are making bookings," Perera said. He said given past experience, countries do not relax travel advisories in one go, but steady improvements have to be shown. "Nothing has happened to Sri Lanka tourism value proposition," Gomes said.

              He said typically other destinations that had been hit by terror attacks had taken about 13 months on average to reach the earlier level of arrivals.

              While early data in May showed a 60 percent fall compared to last year, he believe the annual fall could be limited to 30 percent if there are no further incidents.

              Meanwhile tourist hotels are seeking debt relief, soft loans and tax waivers. (Colombo/May07/2019)

              Comment


              • #29
                Guys

                Thought to share some of my experience as today i traveled to SL from SG in UL

                > Plane was almost full ( pleasantly surprised) comprised 70-80% Indians (from the looks) and Suddhas less then 15. Usually this flight carry much Chinese pre-easter bombings and this was a worrying sight
                > Around 50-60% of the passengers were on transit. At Immigration no ques and virtually empty and had to wait for longer time for baggage. It was quiet the opposite earlier.
                > Duty free cut sorry figure as less passengers
                > Waiting for my pick up was a nightmare as Taxis/Cars were thoroughly checked and took long time to arrive. I had to stay outside for 1hr (hot sun) - best is take TAXI from airport counter
                > Inquiries from airport personnel of current trend was disturbing as many of them had their income hampered
                > On my way to Rajagiriya being Sat afternoon, it was like a POYA day as hardly any traffic and no buzz and lot of shops (mainly Muslim outlets) closed
                > Banks like SAMP now closing their super branches early (3 pm) and my inquiry from a staff member revealed less activity. They now in dilemma as excess staff due to restriction of shifts
                > The cab driver told me Cos like Pick Me are losing business due to obvious reasons and same for many business establishments due to boycott which is not good.

                IMO If situation not arrested sooner i think as investor community we may have to face rough times as it was a reality check for me. I never thought situ is this dampened. Tourism was very much integrated now (than immediate after LTTE time) and going to affect many livelihood/businesses and ultimately deliver blow to our counters as well. I now think the low T/O and Red days witness last 3w may be intelligent investors who pre-calculated and shed some holdings bef late.

                i sincerely hope everyone contribute to arrest this situation by doing their act as if not see some positive bounce in tourism by June, will be real trouble. Gvt says less cancellation in JUNE and lets pray some sunshine to my country/people.
                Last edited by prasa2004; 05-11-2019, 03:26 PM.

                Comment


                • #30
                  Kishu Gomes to step down as Chairman of SLTDA

                  May 15, 2019


                  Kishu Gomes has been heading both the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) as well as the Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) since February this year but the new challenges that have emerged since the Easter Sunday attacks have required him to focus on promotional aspects leaving him with little time for SLTDA.

                  Given the urgency of the work at hand Gomes has opted to resign as Chairman of Tourism Development Authority and spearhead Sri Lanka’s Tourism’s brand rebuilding efforts. Gomes who is an accomplished marketer accepted an invitation from the industry to serve the country through the tourism industry in February 2019 and agreed to head both SLTPB and SLTDA.



                  However, given the current crisis situation, it is obvious that SLTPB’s efforts in the global arena should be strengthened with an acutely focused PR effort and an aggressive marketing and brand communication strategy to regain Sri Lanka’s position as the preferred destination for travel industry.


                  http://www.dailynews.lk/2019/05/15/f...chairman-sltda

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                  • #31
                    Russian tour operators visit SL with Aitken Spence Travels

                    May 15, 2019

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                    A group of 12 tour operators from St. Petersburg, Russia is currently in Sri Lanka for a familiarization tour with Aitken Spence Travels.

                    The group leader Gorodenskiy Dmitry stated that he along with his other colleagues are very happy to be in Sri Lanka, which incidentally is their first visit although they have been promoting destination Sri Lanka.

                    “We are very happy about the security provided and felt everything is very normal. We love the Sri Lankan people and they are so friendly and helpful,” said Gorodenskiy.



                    He was confident that his Russian colleagues in the group will promote destination Sri Lanka and drive the much-needed tourists to the island.

                    The group visited Sigiriya and climbed the 660 ft tall rock capitol of King Kasyapa which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sigiriya is considered one of the best-preserved examples of ancient urban planning. The group would also make their way to the Dambulla cave temple, the Kandy Temple, experience a tea plantation, visit the gentle giants at the Pinnawela elephant orphanage and sum the tour by spending some time to enjoy the beach prior to departure.

                    http://www.dailynews.lk/2019/05/15/f...spence-travels
                    Last edited by ruwan326; 05-15-2019, 06:46 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #32
                      UNWTO calls on global community to support Sri Lanka tourism

                      16 May 2019

                      Secretary General of the UNWTO called on the global community to offer its unwavering support to Sri Lanka through Tourism at this critical moment noting that hotels, beaches and other sites of interests are open as usual.

                      In a video message published at Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Official Facebook page, the Secretary-General of the United Nation’s World Tourism Organization Zurab Pololikashvili states the following,

                      “I have had the privilege of seeing Sri Lanka emerge as one of the world´s great tourism success stories, the country offers a warm welcome to visitors from all over the world, regardless of nationality or creed.

                      In return, tourism has provided many Sri Lankans with secure jobs, helping whole communities grow and develop. Tourism has also been a major factor in the past decade of national reconciliation, and contributed to bringing the people of Sri Lanka closer together.

                      Sri Lanka´s tourism sector is a beacon of hope and unity. That´s why those who seek to divide us, target hotels and other places where people come together. I offer my sincere condolences to those affected by the recent attacks, especially the families of the many victims.

                      I also call on the global community to offer its unwavering support to Sri Lanka at this critical moment. The country´s hotels, beaches and sites of interest are open as usual and ready to welcome you and by continuing to offer our support through tourism, we can help Sri Lanka recover and continue on its path towards peace and prosperity” UNWTO has also extended its immediate support for the recovery of Tourism Industry in Sri Lanka and a series of discussions have taken place between UNWTO Asia and the Pacific top officials and Sri Lanka Tourism Communications Team at the UNWTO Headquarters in Madrid, Spain following the Easter Sunday Attacks, a communiqué of SLTDA stated.
                      http://www.dailynews.lk/2019/05/16/f...-lanka-tourism

                      Comment


                      • #33
                        Discounted holiday weekend

                        May 19, 2019


                        Sri Lankans are taking time out during the Vesak weekend and taking up on the highly discounted hotel rates on offer in some parts of the country.

                        In the wake of the Easter Sunday bombings, occupancy in most hotels sank to zero and are found to be turning to Sri Lankan travellers with prices slashed by 60-80 per cent for this weekend.
                        Most Lankans are found to have booked rooms in locations like the beach front in the South or the cultural triangle but reservations for locations like Kandy, Ella and Nuwara Eliya have not received much of a response.

                        It is learnt that some hotels in Kandy and Nuwara Eliya would be doing well while most others have actually failed to find guests to stay despite the discounts on offer.
                        The situation in Kandy is calm with traffic and life normal out on the streets however, travellers are wary of holidaying in these parts of the country.

                        Hotels in the Cultural Triangle were found to be fully booked and packed for the three days starting Friday (May 17). But from Monday again the hotels would go back to single digit numbers.
                        Hoteliers are hoping for long weekends to lure Sri Lankans in a bid to keep the hotels afloat and ensure they can retain staff despite the lack of foreign guests.

                        http://www.sundaytimes.lk/190519/bus...nd-349581.html

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