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'Life has very much returned to normal'

'Life has very much returned to normal'

Asiya Zargur, marketing director at Indus Experiences, said bookings were still “really slow” compared to last year, but also stressed enquiries had picked up since the FCO changed its stance.

“Sri Lanka was all set for an exceptional year,” she said. “Positive communication has been key. Since the events, we’ve been keeping trade partners closely informed of in-country developments and giving them status reports and latest advice, and we’ve shared and celebrated the FCO decision to re-open Sri Lanka, and communicated to all that the tourist industry will be ready to welcome visitors.”

She added the operator had not sought to reclaim incentives earned by trade partners on cancelled bookings, and was making agents “fully aware” of offers and opportunities to add value on travel to Sri Lanka this year.

Robin Ball, director of Bamboo Travel, added: “We’ve received countless reports from contacts all over the island confirming life has very much returned to normal and they’re eagerly awaiting new arrivals.

“We genuinely believe that now is an opportune moment to visit Sri Lanka, as the hotels, national parks and cultural sights are much quieter than normal. Added to which the hotels and lodges are offering discounts and value-added incentives, making Sri Lanka fantastic value at this moment in time.”

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