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Sri Lanka tourism could face worst crisis in history due to coronavirus outbreak

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry could be facing the worst crisis in history due to the outbreak of Covid-19, EconomyNext reports.

Speaking to EconomyNext, President of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka Sanath Ukwatte, said that “this is the worst crisis we have ever seen in the tourism industry.”

Tourism arrivals fell in 2019 following the Easter Sunday terror bombings but Ukwatte believes that tourism arrivals in 2020 will fall below the 2019 numbers.

“I personally think that people will be comfortable and confident of travelling and going on vacation only after a vaccine is developed,” he added.

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry contributed 5 percent to it’s GDP with 4.4 billion US dollars in revenue.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, Sri Lanka has implemented travel restrictions from 11 countries, including the UK and European countries who are among the top generating markets for Sri Lanka.

Armed Sri Lankan soldiers have been enforcing quarantine procedures for arrivals coming into the island at Colombo’s international airport this week, as the military expands its role in tackling the coronavirus outbreak.