All those involved in the Government and the tourism sector would like to see tourists coming back to this country. Firstly they should do something about the disastrous arrangements made at the airport for arrivals.
Departures are handled well. There are long queues for cars to be checked. This cannot be helped due to the current security situation and we should put up with it hopefully for the time being. Once cars are checked they go forward some distance and the passengers get down and take trolleys to wheel to the departures section where cars are not permitted. However all this is done under covered stands.
Arrivals is an absolute disaster. This is the first sight a tourist has when he lands in Sri Lanka. You have to wheel your baggage on trolleys to the exit gate on Minuwangoda Road. At the gate you have to leave the trolleys and carry/push your bags to the main road. If it has rained you have to push your bags through the water and mud. There is no shelter whatsoever from the sun or rain. I saw airline crew standing under the burning sun and waiting for their pick-ups. I don’t think airline crew are treated this way in other parts of the world.
Between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. when most flights arrive the road is simply blocked and you can hardly move forward. I did two pick-ups on 22 April and 7 May and one drop-off on 30 April. I also went past the airport on the way to Minuwangoda on 28 April. Hence I am only reporting what I see.
It’s time something is done about arrivals if we want to see tourists coming back.
If I was a tourist I would not come to this country if this is what is in store for me at arrivals.
C. Ramachandra FCA