Sri Lanka’s new Tourism Minister Wasantha Senanayake said on Friday that the ongoing political crisis had no impact on the country’s tourism and efforts were being made to brief foreign governments after travel advisories had been issued.
Mr Senanayake told a press briefing that the lives of local citizens and tourists had not been affected by the “political tussle” and there had been no cancellations reported by travel operators and agents, reports Xinhua news agency.
“What we are presently facing is a political tussle and this will be resolved in Parliament most democratically. This should not reflect on the tourism industry,” he said.
The Minister said going forward, the new government would launch fresh campaigns to attract more tourists from China and India as these were the leading markets for Sri Lanka tourism.
He said efforts would also be made to attract more tourists from Europe. “We will work at doubling our figures by next year,” Mr Senanayake said.
So far, over 1.8 million tourists have arrived in the island till October this year, with industry experts voicing concerns that the present political crisis may slow the arrival rate.
Sri Lanka has been facing a political turmoil since October 26 when President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved his cabinet and sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed former president Mahinda Rajapakse to the post.
President Sirisena has suspended the Parliament till November 14.