Sri Lanka hotel occupancy drops following Easter Sunday bombings

Sri Lanka hotel occupancy drops following Easter Sunday bombings
Shangri-La Hotel Colombo
Published: 20 May 2019 - 6:45 a.m.
By: Evan Real

Hotel occupancy in Sri Lanka has plummeted by 85% - 90% since the Easter Sunday bombings that left over 250 people dead, according to a report by AP.

The suicide bombings that targeted three hotels and three churches in Colombo has cost hotels like the Hikkaduwa Beach Hotel $31,000, forcing the hotel’s management to send half the staff home.

The country also saw an 80% drop in arrivals since the attack, the government said.

According to Fitch Ratings, the bombings in Sri Lanka will result in lower economic growth this year.

The tourism sector in the country had risen steadily in recent years to $4 billion in 2018, or about 5% of the GDP. The Sri Lankan government had forecast a further rise to $5 billion this year. In response to the bombings, the government now plans to launch an extensive tourism promotion campaign, alongside efforts to support the sector that could reportedly include VAT cuts and subsidies.

Around half a million Sri Lankans directly depend on tourism while two million depend on it indirectly. In a bid to support the industries hit as a result of the attacks, Sri Lanka’s government if offering a relief package including easy loans at special rates and reduced taxes.

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