Home / Front Page/ Tourist hotels fear $ 1.5 b revenue loss from terror attacks

Tourist hotels fear $ 1.5 b revenue loss from terror attacks


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 25 April 2019 00:09


 

  • THASL says cancellations on the rise post Easter Sunday mayhem
  • Calls on Govt. for monetary support to maintain livelihood of hotel employees

By Charumini de Silva

Tourist hotels yesterday said that the deadly Easter Sunday attacks would have a major blow on the entire tourism industry, where they forecast a $ 1.5 billion revenue loss this year.

“This is the first-ever time the terrorists have targeted and attacked tourists, particularly hotels. From the immediate reactions, we are estimating that there will be a massive loss of $ 1.5 billion in tourism earnings this year,” The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) President Sanath Ukwatte told the Daily FT.

Tourism is Sri Lanka’s third largest foreign exchange earner of $4.4 billion last year, up 11.6% from 2017. The industry expected three million tourist arrivals and revenue of $ 5 billion this year with Lonely Planet naming Sri Lanka as the number one destination to travel to in 2019.

Citing examples of similar terrorist attacks that took place in countries such as Bali, Brussels, Egypt and Turkey, he emphasised that the repercussions were colossal on the industry and economy as a whole.

“Considering this devastating situation to the industry, we request the Government to step in and help the hoteliers with monetary concessions to maintain the livelihood of thousands of our employees,” Ukwatte said.

According to Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM), around 135,000 to 150,000 people are directly employed in the hotel industry.

He also stressed that there were many cancellations of hotel bookings after the Easter Sunday suicide attacks in eight locations that shook the entire nation, killing over 350 people and injuring over 500.

“We are unable to provide any statistics as yet on the cancellations of hotel reservations, but it’s on the rise,” he admitted.

Ukwatte also urged the Government to convince the world that it had the capability to ensure the safety of Sri Lanka.

“It is important to assure the global community that national security is at its best and all the hotels as well as all tourist destinations are protected from any possible threats or attacks,” he pointed out.

Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka increased at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18% during the past 10 years, to 2.3 million visitors in 2018 from 654,476 in 2010.

Tourist arrivals in March 2019 improved by 4.7% to 244,328, bringing the cumulative first quarter figure to 740,600, reflecting a 4.6% growth year-on-year.(CDS)


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

A 4D presidential ‘laugh-a-thon’ that’s not on

Thursday, 24 October 2019

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum. Where once we had a paucity of presidential candidates, we now have a superfluity of them. You would think that from this panoply of contenders who’ve thrown their hat in the ring, we’d be spoilt fo


Forgotten tranquil train journeys in Sri Lankan landscapes

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Railway transportation is considered as the multifaceted economic booster in the world. Switzerland is the role model in utilising railways in envisaging the above concept. The Nuwara Eliya railway line was an exclusion for tourism and freight. Back


Zero waste: a wish come true?

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Zero Waste is a concept, which focuses on waste prevention where essentially resource life cycles are redesigned in such a way that all products are used and no waste is created. It is well-aligned with a circular economy approach, which facilitates


Sri Lanka’s obsession with plastic bags

Thursday, 24 October 2019

At a time where the world expresses growing concerns about climate change, Sri Lanka is still oblivious to the impact of single-use plastic on the environment, marine biodiversity and humans. Ignorance may be bliss in some instances but, not when we


Columnists More