Hot Air

Tourism officials played down government claims of 2000 tourists cancelling bookings, after political chaos and reports of beefed up security.
ldblquote So far we have had some 2000 tourists cancel their bookings and more cancellations pouring in
dblquote , Cabinet spokesperson Professor G L Peiris told reporters on Thursday.rn

rnPeiriss comments come, just two days after President Kumaratunga fired three key ministers, took over portfolios of defence, interior and media, prorogued Parliament and declared a state of emergency. rn

rnldblquote This was going to be the most successful season for tourists, ever
dblquote , Peiris said.rn

rnThe country is going into its peak winter season, with expectations of a record half a million tourists this year from key markets like India and Europe.rn

rnldblquote You could see for yourselves that it was impossible to get a room in any hotel and now that situation has changed. More and more cancellations are pouring in,
dblquote Peiris said. rn

rnBut touri