Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, U.S. and British Authorities warn in response to terror attacks

Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, U.S. and British Authorities warn in response to terror attacks

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority in a statement released urges hotels in Sri Lanka to take maximum measures to strengthen security as Hotels have been one of the main targets. Please assist us in spreading the word and let us not forget to help tourists who are currently in Sri Lanka.”

The Sri Lanka travel industry is bracing for the impact of the horrific attack Easter Sunday in the nation’s capital Colombo and in Negombo, where the airport is located.

Sri Lanka received 2.1 million tourists in 2017 and had set a target to double that number this year. Free visas to visitors from 30 countries including the U.S.,UK, EU and Thailand are part of this strategy.

Currently, Sri Lanka is quiet. It’s a curfew and all roads are closed.

The U.S. embassy raised the level of travel advisory for Sri Lanka to level 2: The embassy warned terrorist groups to continue plotting possible attacks in Sri Lanka. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

The White House issued a statement, that the United States condemns in the strongest terms the outrageous terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka that have claimed so many precious lives on this Easter Sunday. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families of the more than 200 killed and hundreds of others wounded. We stand with the Sri Lankan government and people as they bring to justice the perpetrators of these despicable and senseless acts.

In the meantime, Sri Lanka arrested 13 alleged suspects. Another attack on the airport was prevented. 215 people including foreign tourists were killed, more than 500 injured in a series of planned and coordinated attacks on Easter Sunday.

The UK Foreign Department is telling British Citizens:

On 21 April 2019 bombs were used to attack three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka, in central Colombo; in the northern suburb of Colombo Kochchikade, and in Negombo roughly twenty miles north of Colombo; and in the east of the country in Batticaloa. There have been significant casualties. If you are in Sri Lanka and you are safe, we advise that you contact family and friends to let them know that you are safe.

If you are in Sri Lanka and have been directly affected by the attacks, please call the British High Commission in Colombo: +94 11 5390639, and select the emergency option from where you will be connected to one of our consular staff. If you’re in the UK and worried about British friends or family in Sri Lanka caught up in the incidents, please call the FCO switchboard number: 020 7008 1500 and follow the same steps.


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Security has been stepped up across the island and there are reports of ongoing security operations. if you are in Sri Lanka, please follow the advice of local security authorities, hotel security staff or your tour company. The airport is operating, but with increased security checks. Some airlines are advising their passengers to arrive early for check-in, in light of increased security screening.

The Sri Lankan authorities have declared a nationwide curfew. You should limit movements until this has been lifted, following the instructions of the local authorities and your hotel/tour operator.

The Sri Lankan authorities have confirmed that, if you need to catch a flight from Colombo airport, you are able to travel to the airport provided you have both passport and ticket valid for travel that day. They have also confirmed that arrangements have been put in place for arriving passengers.

Author: Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.

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