Sri Lanka bombings: three months on, tourism workers tell their stories
Posted on July 19th, 2019

Courtesy The Guardian

May and June are the low season in Sri Lanka, but this year, following the Easter Sunday bombings, tourism ground to a halt. Hotels were empty, beaches were deserted and popular attractions that had been starting to suffer from overtourism were eerily quiet. The UK Foreign Office’s warning against all but essential travel was issued on April 25, effectively forcing UK holidaymakers to either cancel or postpone bookings.

Visitors in May were down 70% year on year. After the FCO changed its advice six weeks later on 6 June – and other countries lifted their restrictions – visitor numbers rose a little but were still 57% down year on year.

We had four yoga groups in May and June – they all had to cancel,” says Kevin Abbott, owner of Jim’s Farm Villas in central Sri Lanka. We effectively closed the hotel. Last weekend we had our first guests since the attack.”

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