Deserted beaches, empty rooms: tourism in Sri Lanka gets a hit after bomb attacks

BENTOTA: Sri Lanka ' S $ 4.4 Billion Tourist Industry Staggers With Cancellations As Travelers Shun The Sun And Sand Island Of The Indian Ocean After Multiple Suicide Attacks Over 250 People Have Been Killed Two Weeks Ago.

Suspected Suicide Bombers From Little-known Islamic Groups In Sri Lanka Attacked Churches And Luxury Hotels On Easter Sunday, Killing Worshipers, Tourists And Their Families. Islamic State Claimed Responsibility For The Attacks.

Tourism, Which Accounts For 5 Percent Of The Country's Gross Domestic Product, Has Suffered Because Tourists From Around The World Canceled Hotel And Flight Bookings Out Of Fear Of More Attacks.

It ' S A Big Blow To The Economy, As Well As The Tourism Industry, Sri Lanka N President Maithripala Sirisena Said In An Interview On Saturday. To Develop The Economy, The Main Tourism Has Returned To The Place Before The Attacks.

Net Hotel Bookings Decreased On Average By 186 Percent In The Week After The Attacks Compared To The Same Period Last Year, ForwardKeys Travel Agency Data Showed. A Drop Of More Than Hundred Percent Indicates More Cancellations Than Bookings.

Cancellation Rates At Hotels Across The Country Averaged 70 Per Cent As Of Saturday, With The Capital Taking A Bigger Hit, Sri Lanka & Tourism Bureau Chairman Kishu Gomes Told Reuters.

Some Airlines Have Also Stopped The Frequency Of Flights. The Tax Factor Is Much Lower Than Before: Gomes Said. It Is Certainly A Disturbing Factor.

Tourism Took Off In Sri Lanka, Which Boasts Of A 1,600-km (1,000-mile) Long Coastline, Following The End Of The Decades-long Civil War With Tamil Separatists In 2009. It Was Sri Lanka's # 3-largest Fastest Growing Source Or Foreign Currency Last Year.

Decisive Policies And Security Measures Will Be Important To Breathe New Life Into The Industry And Support Economic Growth, The International Monetary Fund Said.

For The Time Being, Companies From Luxury Hotels To Beach Huts Suffer From Increasing Losses.

In Bentota, One Of A Series Of Seaside Resorts South Of Colombo, The Occupancy Rates Have Fallen, As Evidenced By Interviews With Hotel Managers.

Samanmali Collone, 54, Runs The Seven-room Warahena Beach Hotel In Bentota, Where Rooms Cost 10,000 Sri Lanka Rupees ($ 56) Per Night. The Hotel Had Previously Booked Fully For The Day When Reuters Visited On Thursday, But When News Of The Bombings On Easter Sunday Emerged, All Of Its Guests Canceled.

There Are No Bookings: This Week, Next Month, Even In October They Are All Canceled, She Said, Speaking In Her Deserted Beachside Restaurant, Where Waiters Looked For Glasses And Reorganized Tables, But Without Some Guests Arriving

Collone Said That If Bookings Don't Come Back Soon, She Has To Let Some Of Her Sixteen Staff Go.

We've Had Problems Before, But This Is Completely Different, She Said.