Political Crisis Hurting Sri Lankan Tourism Industry
The month of December usually marks the beginning of tourism season in Sri Lanka. Visitors come to the Indian Ocean island nation to enjoy its beaches, historic places, interesting nature and tasty food.
Tourism represents about 5 percent of the country's $87-billion economy.
But Sri Lanka's current political environment is keeping visitors away. Observers are worried about the possible economic effects.
In late October, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed the country's prime minister and appointed a new government. The move came as a surprise.
Mahinda Rajapaksa, who replaced Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister, lacks a parliamentary majority. A Sri Lankan court has prevented Rajapaksa from taking power. Violence has broken out in parliament and the 2019 national budget has been delayed.
High season for travelers to Sri Lanka usually runs from December to March. Most visitors come from Europe, India and China. But many trips are being canceled, especially among Europeans. The Reuters news agency received that information from someone at the national Sri Lankan airlines. The person asked not to be identified.
The person told Reuters that, "The crisis started just when tourists take a decision where to go...It has discouraged many of them."
Chandra Mohotti is manager of the high-end Galle Face Hotel in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. She said that 20 percent of planned visits to the area have been canceled. She said that normally, the 200-room hotel would be filled at this time of year. But instead, the hotel has been forced to offer low-cost rates to appeal to tourists.
The crisis has also affected business travel. Sanath Ukwatte, president of the Hotels Association of Sri Lanka, said some companies have chosen to move their planned events to Singapore, Indonesia and other places in Southeast Asia.
Harith Perera is president of the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators. He said if the current situation continues, the economic effects "will be significant."
More than 2.1 million people visited Sri Lanka in 2017, tourism officials say.
I'm Ashley Thompson.
1.business travel 商务旅游
How should companies control business travel expenses?
2.appeal to 吸引
Economic change for its own sake did not appeal to him.
3.economic effects 经济影响
Much of the instability stems from the economic effects of the war.
4.island nation 岛国
Now this island nation is attempting to harness it on a scale never seen before.
5.The person told Reuters that, "The crisis started just when tourists take a decision where to go...It has discouraged many of them."
take a decision 做决定
You'll have left me with no choice, but before I take a decision.
At the end of the season, the club will take a decision.
6.But Sri Lanka's current political environment is keeping visitors away.
keep away 防范；远离
If you don't keep away from the dog, you may be bitten.
He is a dangerous person; keep away from him.
每年的12月通常是斯里兰卡旅游旺季的开始 。游客们前往这个印度洋上的岛国，享受这里的沙滩、历史古迹、秀丽的自然景观以及美味的食物 。
但是，斯里兰卡当前的政治环境让游客们望而却步 。观察家们担心，这可能对经济产生影响 。
取代维克勒马辛哈担任总理的拉贾帕克萨（Mahinda Rajapaksa）受到议会多数席位的反对 。斯里兰卡一家法院阻止拉贾帕克萨上台 。议会爆发了暴力冲突，2019年的国家预算被推迟 。
斯里兰卡的旅游旺季通常为12月到次年3月，大多数游客来自欧洲、印度和中国 。但是很多订单被取消了，尤其是欧洲游客 。路透社从斯里兰卡国有航空公司的员工处得知这些信息，该员工要求匿名 。
Chandra Mohotti是斯里兰卡首都科伦坡的高端酒店Galle Face Hotel 的经理 。她说，原定前往该地区旅游的行程取消了20% 。她说，通常情况下，这家200间客房的酒店每年都会客满 。但是，今时不同往日，酒店被迫以低价吸引游客 。
这次危机也影响到了商务旅行 。斯里兰卡酒店协会会长Sanath Ukwatte表示，一些公司已经将原定的商务活动改到新加坡、印尼和东南亚其它地区 。
哈里斯·佩雷拉（Harith Perera）是斯里兰卡入境旅游运营商协会的主席 。他说，如果目前的形势继续发展，经济影响将“非常显著 。”