A group of hoteliers has come together in an effort to relaunch Sri Lanka’s tourism in the aftermath of the Easter terrorist attacks.
Local groups such as Jetwing Hotels and Resplendent Ceylon are among those spearheading an initiative to recover the country’s tourism industry with the formation of the Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance and the lovesrilanka.org website.
So far, 35 mainly local brands are involved with the support of bigger interntional names such as Anantara and Movenpick.
Three hotels and three churches were targeted by Islamists on Easter Sunday, killing 258, including 46 foreigners and eight British nationals. Attacks took place in and around the capital Colombo, the nearby resort of Negombo and at Batticaloa on the east coast.
The Alliance said it would provide tourists with advice “from credible sources on the ground”. A statement said: “The most critical aspect at moments like this is to ensure that the real situation on the ground with regard to the tourism sector is not lost in the midst of media, political and incident-specific reporting.
“This is important for the communities that rely on the sector, the industry stakeholders and more importantly, the tourists themselves.”
Tourism supports one in 10 families on the island, but a state of emergency remains in place and a curfew has been re-imposed following outbreaks of violence in the north-west this week.
The UK Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to the island, although this does not include transiting at Colombo airport.