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Sri Lanka tourism takes a hit as political crisis continues

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is already taking a hit after the government was plunged into crisis last week with Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena attempting to sack the prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replace him with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The outbreak of the crisis, coinciding with the run up to Sri Lanka’s peak winter tourist season, saw an almost immediate onslaught of travel advisories from foreign governments, especially from Europe and North America, warning of potential violence.

Tourists have been cancelling hotel bookings, AFP reports, saying that although no official figures have been given, deluxe hotels have been hit by cancellations and a critical decline in new bookings in the past 10 days.

A Colombo city hotel executive told the news agency that they had had a lot of cancellations from the US.

"With the political crisis our winter season is gone," the director of another luxury beach resort in the south of the island lamented.