Exploring the current status of tourism in Sri Lanka

by | Dec 27, 2022

The first question etched in everyone’s minds when they consider planning a trip to Sri Lanka is –

“Is it safe to travel to Sri Lanka right now?”
“Is Sri Lanka open for tourism?”

Yes, Sri Lanka is absolutely safe for travel and is open to tourists from all over the world. And many are already in the island making unique lifetime memories!

It is true that over the past months the people of the country were frustrated with an ineffective government and decided to raise their voices against those who were responsible. This struggle was hyped and portrayed to the world as widespread unrest. However, in reality, travelers in Sri Lanka and the tourism industry as a whole was not affected. Anyhow, now that the struggle has ceased completely, Sri Lanka is indeed your perfect holiday destination.

Blue Lanka Tours has put together an article to help clarify all your concerns related to travelling to Sri Lanka. Read ahead to find out more.

“Is it okay to plan a vacation in Sri Lanka during an economic crisis”?

The country is presently going through an economic crisis which is affecting the lives of many – mostly in the middle to lower income houses. At the same time, great emphasis must be made to the people concerned that tourism is one of the key drivers for recovery. The industry provides employment to over 3 million Sri Lankans and is critical for bringing in the much-needed foreign revenue to the island, which will significantly contribute towards overcoming the economic downturn and transforming life back to normalcy.

In fact, vacationing in Sri Lanka right now is the biggest helping hand one can offer in an effort to bring the country back on track.

“What is the truth behind the present situation in Sri Lanka?”

Sri Lanka News made headlines several times over the last eight months or so. The economy was severely mismanaged in the last few years, which unveiled a lot of chaos this year. People of every race and religion united to protest against a failing government and leadership. Readers must be aware that this was not a violent protest. There was art, music, inclusivity, faith, peace and unity amongst all religions at the protest site. Talents from different industries mingled with each other and a celebration of unity was the only concern. The peace was attacked for a couple of days with violence – which is when global media barged in, making irresponsible news reporting cause a lot of harm to the tourism industry.

Once the government changed, the protest site was vacated and the usual island feel is back and Sri Lanka is safe. A few countries have already relaxed their travel advisories to encourage travel to Sri Lanka as there is now a safe and functioning government.

“Is it possible to travel around Sri Lanka upon arrival?”

Yes, absolutely! The acute fuel shortages portrayed over the past few months are now under control. In fact, tour operators are given special passes for fuel to take tourists around the country. Hotels are also given the same priority treatment to ensure steady supply chains of all required products for tourists to have a comfortable stay. Furthermore, public transport such as buses and trains are fully operational to connect tourists to different parts of the island. Tourists actually prefer the trains as they offer memorable experiences and breathtaking views of Mother Nature! Hotels often provide transport to and from these bus/train stations to assist tourists in getting there. There is also the option to rent and drive vehicles and for this, tourists can obtain a fuel quota ticket at the airport.

“Are there any Covid-19 protocols for traveling to Sri Lanka?”

  • At present, there are no Covid-19 restrictions in traveling to any part of Sri Lanka and visiting attractions of your choice.
  • If you are vaccinated, no PCR/Antigen tests are required.
  • If you are not vaccinated, a negative PCR report within 72 hours prior to arrival is required. Children under 12 are exempted from this requirement.
  • A mandatory Covid-19 insurance is required for all travelers.
  • Detailed information can be accessed at: https://www.srilanka.travel/helloagain/

“Is the food inflation affecting tourists to Sri Lanka?”

It is not just Sri Lanka that is affected with the food inflation, the whole world is. Misleading media portray Sri Lanka to be on the verge of starvations whereas in reality, less that 20% of the population is struggling below poverty line and we as a nation are providing immense support to this sector. Home-grown food initiatives are also being heavily supported by the population of Sri Lanka.

All hotels and restaurants in Sri Lanka are open and offer delicious cuisines showcasing the famous flavors of the island. In fact, popular bars and restaurants need prior reservations if you want to guarantee a table on a weekend!

“Will tourists impact the resources available to locals”?

Citizens of Sri Lanka are well aware of the importance of tourism in trying to get the country’s economy back on track. Hence tourists are rest assured a warm welcome and commitment towards making sure you have a safe and hospitable holiday. Tourism is not viewed as “taking away resources from locals” but instead, locals know that a steady flow of foreign currency will enable the Sri Lankan government to maintain essential supplies of food, cooking gas, fuel and other essential items. Schools, governments offices, and public transport are open.

“How will a holiday in Sri Lanka help in developing the nation?”

Everyday life is settling in for Sri Lankans as the population of resilient men and women continue to rebuild their lives and strengthen the country’s economy. The tourism industry is the quickest social safety net for low-income earners to resort to when nothing else seems to be working out.

By arranging a vacation with Blue Lanka Tours, you will help create pockets of circular economies along your travel route, thereby directing tourism revenue to local artisans, farmers, experience hosts and their communities.

“Why visit Sri Lanka in 2023?”

There are plenty of new experiences waiting to be discovered, offering a mix of history, culture and wildlife, all amidst the backdrop of a spectacular landscape. Here’s why this paradise island should be on your bucket list for 2023:

  • Value for money:
    With the currency devaluing by over a 100% this year, Sri Lanka has become one of the most economical holiday destinations in the world. Even with the inflation, hotels are still competitively priced as they try to attract tourists back to the country.
  • Away from the crowds:

Winter 2022 and the first quarter of 2023 would be the best time to travel to Sri Lanka if you want to steer away from the usual tourist numbers that prevailed before the economic crisis. With the consistent effort being made by everyone in the industry to bring back tourism, it won’t be long before the attractions crowd up.

  • 75th year of Independence:

In February 2023, you will have the opportunity to witness the 75th National Day celebrations in Sri Lanka through dances, parades and performances in the capital city of Colombo.

  • Promotion of sustainable tourism:

With more and more travelers looking for responsible tourism options, the Sri Lankan hospitality industry is also promoting sustainable accommodation options and encouraging travelers to minimize their impact on the natural environment.

  • A little bit of everything:

Although the island is small in geographical size, it has a wide variety of natural landscapes and allows visitors to enjoy the best of everything in just a few days – from wildlife to beaches to greenery, adventure, nature trails and more, Sri Lanka has it all!