‘India contributed to post-blast economic recovery in Lanka’

An additional inflow of business tourists, rise in bookings for traders’/dealers’/consumers’ conferences and wedding parties from India have contributed significantly to the overall economic recovery in the last couple of months, according to a Sri Lankan Government official.

A series of bomb blasts ripped through churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on April 21, killing over 250 people bringing the island nation’s trade and tourism to a grinding halt. After the Easter Sunday attack, tourist arrivals dropped to 37,802 in May against 1.30 lakh in the corresponding month a year ago and from the year’s peak of over 2.52 lakh in February. However, the numbers started picking up with 63,072 arrivals in June, 1,15,701 in July and 1,43,587 in August as per statistics provided by the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau.

Yasantha De Silva Yaddehi, Minister (Commercial), Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission-Chennai said Sri Lanka had made a remarkable recovery in the last few months and India’s contribution to it has been significantly high especially in the weddings and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) segments.

“Post bomb blasts, our MICE arrivals from India have picked up substantially in the last few months. We have been receiving bookings for traders’/dealers’ meetings and consumer conferences. A large number of Indian corporates, mostly automotive, cement, pharma and IT firms, prefer us for their team outings. Business and leisure tourist arrivals are also on the rise,’’ said Mr. Yaddehi.

In September, the Sri Lankan government earned over $50 million from international conference of the Bohra community held in Colombo.