Time to Heal

Year-end arrivals took a 16 percent plunge to 340,000 from 400,414 in 2000 but Tourist Board Officials are forecasting a turnaround of around 450,000 arrivals this year.

November arrivals were down a steep 46.6 percent compared to 2000, with an overall decline of 15 percent for the year.

Asia Securities Tourist Sector Analyst Ramzi Rishard forecast
quote s a modest eight percent recovery this year, but also added that recovery would be slow and most likely to be seen close upon the Winter Season in November.

But despite a revived peace process and heightened optimism, industrialists are cautious in expecting any significant improvements within the next few months.

ldblquote The downturn in tourism is a global phenomenon right now and Sri Lanka is still facing residual effects of last year. Not the least of which is the lack of Airline capacity to Sri Lanka
dblquote , said Chandra Wickramasinghe, Chairman, Connaissance de Ceylan Ltd.

ldblquote There has been a sharp drop in arrivals from Germany enda