Following the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka in April 2019, the British government has now downgraded its warnings to visitors planning a trip to the country.
Sri Lanka Welcomes Tourists Again
Rough Guides' head of marketing, Joe Legate, says "We’re very pleased that the UK, USA and Australia have all downgraded their travel warnings for Sri Lanka. I was fortunate enough to see Sri Lanka for myself in January this year. It is a country of huge variety. Few areas in the world boast the richness of culture, history, food and natural beauty within such a small area and I am delighted that we can start helping people plan and book their next trip and take their place in Sri Lanka’s recovery.
All customers who were booked to travel to Sri Lanka via Rough Guides trips were contacted at the time of the attacks and we have supported them in considering their options. Fortunately, we had no travellers in Sri Lanka during the attacks. Our thoughts remain with the families and friends of the victims and injured, and the people of Sri Lanka.”
Our local expert on the ground in Sri Lanka Justyna Radomska shared this message:
"I just came to Sri Lanka a few days ago and it’s really good to be back. Things already feel pretty much back to normal, although the number of tourists is lower. For those planning to travel it's actually a good moment to explore, while it’s not crowded and prices are lower. Security is much tighter than before. While some people will be still afraid to travel, there are also many others who want to visit to support Sri Lanka."
See below for the most up to date advice from the UK, US and Australian governments. This information is correct as of 10/07019.
UK Foreign Office advice:
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) no longer advises against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka and instead reminds visitors to exercise caution in visiting.
Security has been stepped up across the island and the State of Emergency remains in place. The authorities have announced emergency regulations that ban the wearing of clothing or objects that conceal the face in such a way that prevents the wearer’s identification. Travel within Sri Lanka may take longer than normal – you should check with your travel provider well in advance and allow extra time. Travellers should continue to remain vigilant and keep up to date with developments in the country.
Australian Dept of Foreign Affairs Advice:
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs advises visitors to exercise a high degree of caution in Sri Lanka.
Follow the advice of local authorities and monitor the media for updates – avoid demonstrations and large public gatherings in case they turn violent.
US State Department Advice:
The US State Dept recommends travellers act with increased caution while visiting Sri Lanka. On June 24, 2019, the Department lifted the ordered departure status of all school-age children (kindergarten through 12th grade) of U.S. government employees under the age of 18 as well as the authorized departure status of non-emergency U.S. government employees and family members.
Thoughts from Sri Lanka Tourism
In the immediate aftermath of the attack’s, we rolled out our emergency response protocol. Trained teams were deployed to the affected hotels, all hospitals and the airport to ensure that all tourists directly affected by the attacks received all the care, attention and assistance they needed.
Tourists already in the country and those scheduled to arrive in the hours and days following the attacks were also an immediate priority. In addition to the help desks at hotels, airports and tourist information centres Sri Lanka Tourism set up an emergency hotline to ensure tourists and their loved ones back home had access to accurate information and the entire suite of emergency services; updated information continues to be issued via local & global media, social media, and foreign missions on a regular basis.
We are grateful and humbled by the resilience and generosity of all the tourists who have chosen to continue with their holiday in Sri Lanka and we are privileged to continue to welcome hundreds of new tourists every day since the attack. We must ensure wider global tourism communities have renewed confidence in our destination by persevering and so to this end all planned promotion activity will continue to ensure that our critical tourism industry is protected.