Tourism stakeholders raise concerns over all-night music festival in Bentota on Saturday

Tuesday, 6 June 2023 00:39 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Call on SLTDA to refrain from holding such events 
  • Stress need to reflect on previous unpleasant incidents 
  • Explain uncontrollable numbers are unsafe for hotels, guests
  • Fear event will reduce hotels occupancy ‘from low to zero’ 

Tourism stakeholders have raised concerns over an all-night musical festival scheduled to be held on Saturday (10 June) at the Bentota beach stretch. In a letter to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chairman Priyantha Fernando, the Bentota-Beruwala Hoteliers Association stressed, the 12-hour music festival will lead to sound pollution in the area and attract huge uncontrollable crowds, eventually resulting in an unsafe environment for the hotels and its guests.

Appreciating efforts taken by the Tourism Ministry and SLTDA to promote tourism in the country, the association however expressed their worry over the use of loud thumping music speakers, flashlights and large crowds all-night.

Given the previous unsafe and unpleasant incidents, the members of the association asserted the need to reflect on past mistakes.

They feared that it would reduce the hotel’s occupancy ‘from low to zero’.

“Although this is an off-season, the guests who are currently residing in the hotels (a few hotels high occupancy on 10 June) of the Bentota beach area covering the NHR Hotel stretch, will face disturbance throughout the night. All kinds of vendors, touts, etc., which will eventually result in an unsafe environment for the hotels and guests, as most of our hotels are not covered with walls and gates from the beach sides,” they explained.

The association also noted that it was agreed at a meeting held on 7 March with SLTDA Chairman, Deputy Director-General Upali Ratnayake and SSP Tourist Police at Taj Exotica Hotel Bentota, that all-night musical shows lead to unsafe and unpleasant situations as per previous experiences both stakeholders and authorities are aware of.

“We as Bentota-Beruwala Hoteliers Association humbly request to avoid hosting any musical events in this area and we believe that you would understand the gravity of this issue as explained above,” they noted in the letter.

The music festival ‘Last of Us’ will feature Afterlife artists and are selling tickets online.