Sri Lanka was facing its worst economic crisis in decades. The country was struggling with high inflation, rising debt, and a shortage of foreign exchange. This has had a devastating impact on the tourism industry, which is a major source of income for the country.
In 2019, before the economic crisis, Sri Lanka received over 2.3 million tourists. However, in 2022, the number of tourist arrivals has fallen by more than 70%. This is due to a number of factors, including:
- The high cost of travel to Sri Lanka. The depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee has made it more expensive for tourists to travel to the country.
- The shortage of foreign exchange. This has made it difficult for tourism businesses to import goods and services, which has led to price hikes and a decline in the quality of service.
- The political instability in Sri Lanka. The ongoing political crisis has made tourists feel unsafe and has put them off visiting the country.
The impact of the economic crisis on the tourism industry has been far-reaching. Thousands of tourism businesses have been forced to close, and many people have lost their jobs. The decline in tourism has also had a negative impact on the economy as a whole.
There are some signs that the tourism industry is starting to recover. In June 2023, the number of tourist arrivals increased by 10% compared to the previous month. However, it is too early to say whether this is a sustained recovery.
The government of Sri Lanka is taking steps to revive the tourism industry. These include:
- Reducing taxes on tourism businesses.
- Providing subsidies to tourism businesses.
- Improving the security situation in the country.
It is hoped that these measures will help to attract more tourists to Sri Lanka and help the tourism industry to recover.
How you can help?
If you are planning to travel to Sri Lanka, you can help to support the tourism industry by:
- Choosing to stay at locally-owned accommodations.
- Eating at local restaurants.
- Hiring local guides and drivers.
- Spending money on local souvenirs and handicrafts.
By supporting the tourism industry, you can help to create jobs and boost the economy of Sri Lanka.