Sri Lanka’s tourism arrival numbers are up, but beach front properties remain virtually empty

Despite claims that tourist revivals are up 8 percent by May, many of Sri Lanka’s resorts on the southern coast remain almost empty since the tsunami. Despite claims that tourist revivals are up 8 percent by May, many of Sri Lanka’s resorts on the southern coast remain almost empty since the tsunami. Visitors who helped swell the tourist arrival numbers were businessmen or those who helped with the tsunami recovery and not holidaymakers according to the industry.

Southern hoteliers say government not doing enough to help speed up a return to normalcy for people and the industry.

Young coconut saplings on the Kalutara beach: a sign people are back at the beach after the tsunami that devastated the area.

The saplings were platted by these people who are also clearing the clutter from the beach that only a few months ago was abuzz with tourists.

USAID is sponsoring the cleanup through the Tourism cluster to ready the industry for the tourism season that starts in a few months.

Small and medium sized hotels dominated this stretch of beach at Kalutara.

Small hoteliers like Nelson, who has been in business for over