The official travel warning issued by the Australian government for Sri Lanka has been lowered from a Level 3 (reconsider your need to travel) to a Level 2 (exercise a high degree of caution). This follows the UK lifting its travel ban last week, as well as the German, Swiss and Austrian governments relaxing their advice against travel to Sri Lanka the week prior.
This news signals a shift back towards normalcy for the country following the devastating terrorist attacks that occurred on 21 April 2019.
Sri Lanka has surged in popularity as a tourist destination in recent years, with one in 10 families relying on tourism to make a living.
Owner of luxury resort group Resplendent Ceylon, Malik Fernando, said “Tourism is the most significant part of our economy, supporting one in 10 families in Sri Lanka, so the relaxation of the advisory is excellent news. We have a close connection with Australia as one of our fastest growing inbound markets and look forward to welcoming visitors back with open arms. We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of support over the past month.”
Following the attacks, several tourism and hospitality operators have united to form the Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance. The group has created an online platform to promote and support Sri Lanka’s return to the norms of their island life. The associated website aims to provide security updates and advice from credible sources on the ground, as well as to share stories of the island, which was ranked the number one destination to visit in 2019 by Lonely Planet.