Sri Lanka plans travel bubble with India to revive tourism

Colombo: Sri Lanka and India are planning to have a travel bubble to revive tourism between the two neighbouring countries, the island nation’s national carrier Sri Lankan Airlines has announced.

As an initial step, a combined delegation of Indian tour operators and journalists have also completed a familiarisation tour, a statement issued by the airlines said.

This travel bubble is aimed at providing the prospective Indian tourists to Sri Lanka on the practical operation of the local tourism industry under the bio bubble concept.

The delegation spent six nights and seven days touring the country while being subjected to mandatory PCR testing and other health guidelines imposed by the Ministry of Health, the statement by the Sri Lankan Airlines said.

The main purpose of their participation in this fam tour was to restore confidence in visiting Sri Lanka, especially among the Indian tourists to provide them in-depth knowledge on how the country’s tourism industry operates under the bio-bubble concept the statement added.

The delegation toured the favourite local tourist sites including the central provincial touristic areas of Dambulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, and Bentota, the southern coastal resort.

Tourism accounts for about five per cent of Sri Lanka”s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with Britain, India and China the main markets.

The number of international tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka declined in March 2020 by 70.8 per cent in comparison to a year ago as the tourism industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak.

Sri Lanka has so far reported 97,105 cases and 620 deaths relate to it, according to Johns Hopkins University.

 

Agency