Sri Lanka Tourism Suffers After Deadly Bombings
The deadly bombings that struck Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday have led many foreign visitors to stay away from the island nation.
The Lonely Planet travel guide named Sri Lanka as its top nation for travelers in 2019. The country is known for its beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, wildlife and parks.
But on April 21, more than 250 people were killed in several bomb attacks at hotels and churches. Among the dead were 45 foreigners, including visitors from China, India, the United States and Britain. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the blasts.
Since the attacks, foreign tourism has dropped sharply.
Sri Lankan travel officials say many foreigners who were planning to visit the country over the next few months have canceled their plans. Officials reported that, overall, visitor arrivals to Sri Lanka have dropped about 80 percent since the bombings.
The tourism industry makes up about 4.9 percent of Sri Lanka's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2018, 2.3 million tourists visited the island, bringing in about $4.4 billion. That was an increase of nearly 12 percent from 2017.
Industry experts say hotel occupancy rates across the island have fallen by at least 85 percent. Most beaches, eateries and stores in popular tourist areas are now empty.
Many foreign travelers usually visit Hikkaduwa, on the southwest coast. The area is known for its good surfing conditions and clear waters for snorkeling. The Associated Press reported that on a recent day, only a few of the area's 27 hotels were even open. Most eateries that sit along the six-kilometer beach were closed.
The Hikkaduwa Beach Hotel was one of the few places still open. On the day of the bombings, all 50 of its guest rooms were full. Now, few people are staying there.
"It's a real disaster. We don't know what to do right now," said Sanjeewani Yogarajah, who works at the hotel. She said the attack has so far cost the business $31,000. The loss in earnings has forced the hotel to send half of its workers home.
Lankesha Ponnamperuma, who runs the hotel company Hikka Tranz, is one of the luckier ones. He says that while foreign visitors are mainly staying away, his business is surviving because many local people are using the hotels. On some days, up to two-thirds of the company's hotels are filled, he said.
The president of Sri Lanka's Hotels Association, Sanath Ukwatta, said many hotels have been advertising rates 30 to 50 percent lower in an effort to get Sri Lankans to come. While he admits such offers will not fully solve the economic problems, they can still "help at least to keep the hotels going."
One visitor to Hikkaduwa beach who spoke to the AP does not seem to mind the lack of other foreign visitors in the area. Alexi Konchayenko, a sports trainer from Ukraine, drank fresh coconut water and enjoyed the sunny beach.
Bomb blasts can happen "anywhere, anytime," Konchayenko said. He added that he was not afraid to be there and would probably come back. "Sri Lanka is an amazing country. This is my first visit and I will tell my friends also to come."
Hotel worker Sanjeewani Yogarajah says one of the biggest concerns for industry officials is a travel ban issued for Sri Lanka by several countries after the attacks.
"The ban is our main worry. Until it is removed or softened, we can't start our marketing to attract tourists," he said. "If it is lifted soon, we are hopeful we can bounce back this year, or otherwise definitely next year."
I'm Bryan Lynn.
1.travel ban 旅游禁令
The travel ban will end January 4th.
这一旅行禁令将在一月4 日取消 。
2.makes up 弥补；组成
He makes up for lost time and starts to kill people.
3.a few of 少数
We chose a few of the commonest lexical items in the languages.
4.right now 立刻；马上
You might as well tell him right now.
5.Many hotels have been advertising rates 30 to 50 percent lower in an effort to get Sri Lankans to come.
in an effort to 为了
Mass burials are now under way in an effort to ward off an outbreak of cholera.
He finally left home in an effort to counter the tyranny of arranged marriage in the old society.
6.The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the blasts.
claimed responsibility for 宣称对...负责
An underground organisation has claimed responsibility for the bomb explosion.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.
《孤独星球》旅游指南将斯里兰卡评为2019年最热门旅游国家 。这个国家以美丽的海滩、古遗迹、野生动植物和公园而闻名 。
但在4月21日，有超过250人在酒店和教堂的几起爆炸案中丧生 。遇难者中有45名外国人，包括来自中国、印度、美国和英国的游客 。“伊斯兰国”组织宣称对这些爆炸案负责 。
斯里兰卡旅游官员表示，很多打算未来几个月来旅游的外国游客取消了他们的计划 。有关官员报告称，自爆炸事件发生以来，斯里兰卡的游客数量总体下降了约80% 。
旅游业占斯里兰卡国内生产总值（GDP）的4.9%左右 。2018年，有230万游客到该岛旅游，带来约44亿美元的收入，比2017年增加了近12% 。
业内专家表示，整座岛的酒店入住率下降了至少85% 。如今，热门旅游区域的大多数海滩、餐馆和商店都很冷清 。
很多外国游客通常选择到西南海岸的希克杜沃旅游 。该地区因其绝佳的冲浪条件和清澈的浮潜水域而闻名 。据美联社报道，最近一天，该地区27家酒店中只有几家营业 。这条6公里海滩上的大多数餐馆都关门了 。
希克杜沃海滩酒店是仍然营业的几家酒店之一 。爆炸发生当天，该酒店的50间客房全部满员，而现在的酒店门可罗雀 。
该酒店的员工Sanjeewani Yogarajah表示：“这真的是一场灾难 。我们现在不知所措 。”她说，到目前为止，爆炸袭击已经导致该酒店损失了3.1万美元 。收入损失迫使该酒店辞退了一半员工 。
而经营Hikka Tranz酒店公司的Lankesha Ponnamperuma比较幸运 。他说，虽然损失了大多数外国游客，但他的生意因当地人的光顾维持下来 。他说，有时，酒店多达三分之二的酒店能住满 。
斯里兰卡酒店协会会长Sanath Ukwatta表示，为了吸引当地人入住，很多酒店打广告降价30%到50% 。虽然他承认这类优惠无法彻底解决经济问题，但至少帮助酒店维持了正常运营 。
希克杜沃海滩的一位游客接受了美联社采访，他似乎对该地外国游客稀少并不介意 。来自乌克兰的体育教练Alexi Konchayenko 一边喝新鲜的椰汁一边享受着阳光明媚的海滩 。
Konchayenko表示，炸弹爆炸随时随地都有可能发生 。他还表示，来这里旅游并不害怕，也许还会再来 。他说：“斯里兰卡是一个神奇的国度，这是我第一次来旅游，我也会推荐朋友们过来 。”
酒店员工Sanjeewani Yogarajah表示，业内官员最大的担忧是袭击发生后几个国家发布了针对斯里兰卡的旅游禁令 。
”他说：“禁令才是最令人担心的 。在禁令取消或放宽之前，我们没办法开始宣传招徕游客 。如果很快解除禁令，我们希望今年能够反弹，否则只能等明年了 。”