Sri Lanka tourism industry has bounce-back capacity: officials

Mar 27, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has the capacity to bounce back, officials who returned from a travel fair in Germany after spreading the message that island is safe for foreign visitors, said. “Right now we are going through a bit of a slow down,” Hiran Cooray, the Managing Director of Jetwing Hotels said after a visit to ITB Berlin 2008, the world’s largest travel trade show.

“But we believe the comments from the tour operators from Germany who said that Sri Lanka was a destination that bounces back after three weeks of headlines of negative publicity,” he said.

The country’s tourism promotion bureau said that the ITB tourism convention in Berlin gave them the opportunity to project Sri Lanka in the correct perspective and to bounce back as a safe destination.

The comments came as tourist arrivals to the island have dropped 5.8 percent to 40,551 in February compared to the same period in 2007 as fighting between Tamil Tigers and troops intensified and isolated terror attacks took place in Colombo.

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has been taking a beating since the early 1980’s with occupancy levels showing a roller coaster performance due to travel advisories and warnings