Tourism has mostly escaped the devastating effects of flooding and heavy rains in Sri Lanka over the past week, which resulted in at least 177 deaths and half a million people displaced in the country.
“Tourism-related activity has not been hampered because most hotels are located on the southern coastline; the airport is open, roads and hotels are operating,” Paddy Withana, chairman of state-run Sri Lanka Tourism told TTG Asia.
The impact is kept minimal as the May-June period is the traditional low season for tourism in Sri Lanka.
Officials at the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators added that round-tours were operating as usual and major cultural sites such as Kandy and Sigiriya rock were unaffected.
“We have asked for a report on the situation from hotels in affected areas but so far there’s been no major impact,” said Sanath Ukwatte, chairman, Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka.
The floods caused by swollen rivers breaching their banks affected districts mostly south of the capital. Though most Sri Lankan hotels are on the southern coastline, many are located miles from the rivers, according to hoteliers interviewed. The floods are now receding.