Sri Lanka tourism and health guidelines – adaderana biz english

Double attack on tourism

Tourism has been one of the fastest growing sectors in Asia and is the third largest source of foreign exchange in Sri Lanka. When the Covid-19 pandemic surfaced in 2020, tourism was the one that suffered the immediate impact and one of the most stressed industries. Sri Lanka was first blocked, including the airport closure in March 2020, to control the spread of the virus. Global tourist arrivals fell sharply for the first time in the history of tourism and came to a complete standstill for a period of 10 months until January 21, 2021. This comes in a situation where the Sri tourism industry -Lankan was suffering from the negative impacts of the Easter attack. Thus, from 2019, the industry has not been able to operate at full capacity. Hence two Bear winter seasons in 2019 and 2020. Hence the need to recover quickly, regularly but in a careful manner.

Strategic bio-bubble for recovery

Sri Lanka was one of the few to open up to tourism during this period under the protection of a “Tourism Bio Bubble” operation set up by Sri Lanka Tourism which has been recognized and recognized worldwide as an innovative concept for resume tourism in the new normal operations.

Strategic Bio-Bubble was created in 2020 when there were no or few vaccinations.

Tourism Bio-Bubble consisted of 3 pillars: “Safe and Secure Hotels”, “Operational Guidelines for Tourism” and “Safety Guidelines for Visitors” (see photo 1). It is this Bio-Bubble concept that has won Sri Lanka many accolades to include “Safe Travel Stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council”, “Best Country” for Winter Travel for 2020 by “USA Today ‘,’ Best place to visit in 2020 ‘by CNN,’ Top Destination to Travel ‘by Condé Nast Traveler in 2020, Sri Lanka ranked as one of the best vacation destinations for 2020 by The Times, UK and Wanderlust Travel Awards 2020 in London where Sri Lanka wins “Back on the Map” award.

While other Asian tourist destinations have remained closed to tourists until recently, Sri Lanka has started reviving the tourism industry with the creation of the Tourism Bio Bubble. Sri Lanka is also one of the first in the Asian region to prepare and publish a detailed COVID-19 health protocol for the industry.

Volatility due to pandemic

Despite this preparedness from the local tourism industry, the world has suffered several travel bans, flight suspensions and blockages due to pandemic waves that have surfaced from time to time, further restricting global travel.

After a period of more than 3 months of reopening tourism, Sri Lanka has once again entered another period of lockdown. With the increase in daily reported Covid-19 cases, Sri Lanka was on the UK’s red list and in most EU countries the US has imposed travel warnings. It was a blow to the recovery of the tourism industry.

Slow but steady recovery

However, given the government’s strong vaccination campaign and careful health controls in place, Sri Lanka was able to curb the spread and reopen to tourism on 1st June 2021. Revisions to bio-bubble operations have been made to adapt to developments in local and global immunization programs and global best practices. However, Sri Lanka Tourism, under the leadership of the Ministry of Health, has adopted a prudent operational mechanism for the industry with relaxations offered on health recommendations. With the success of the government’s vaccination program and constant communication of progress in educating overseas missions locally, Sri Lanka has been able to be gradually removed from the Red Lists issued by the UK.

Additionally, travel restrictions have also been eased with caution, allowing fully vaccinated visitors to travel with fewer restrictions from October 1, 2021. As echoed by the industry since the easing of health restrictions, we We have seen a gradual increase in bookings and flights, which is an indication of a gradual recovery and the much needed boost to the economy and currencies.

Coming together for renewal

Operators and stakeholders in the tourism industry must ensure accountability with strict adherence to established protocols and mechanisms to ensure industry recovery. This is the time when the industry must come together, work together and ensure that Sri Lanka experiences a steady but continuing recovery for the good of the country, the communities and the industry as a whole.


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