Statement from Sri Lanka Tourism (SLTDA and SLTPB)
Following the acts of terror that took place on Easter Sunday, Sri Lanka Tourism have continued to engage with high-level government officials and tourism stakeholders in order to assess the current situation and have taken necessary steps to ensure all possible assistance is provided to tourists in need of help.
Sri Lanka Tourism is deeply shocked and saddened by the senseless violence and unreservedly condemns these terrible acts. We offer our deepest sympathies and condolences to all the victims and their families, while wishing a speedy recovery to all those injured and currently receiving treatment.
Our first priority on Sunday was to ensure that all tourists directly affected by the attack received emergency care and attention, to this end in the immediate aftermath of the explosions Sri Lanka Tourism deployed trained emergency response teams and its representatives at hospitals, affected hotels and the airport to assist tourists in any way possible including emergency hospital care, advanced medical treatment, contacting their loved ones and reuniting missing family members through diplomatic channels; arrangements were also made transfer guests to different hotels where necessary. Additionally, Sri Lanka Tourism took measures to ensure that hotel transfers, airline bookings, airport transfers, itinerary changes were facilitated.
A 24-hour emergency support desk has been established and can be accessed as follows;
Emergency local hotline number to assist tourists currently in Sri Lanka: 1912
Emergency hotline to assist families of affected foreign nationals: +94 11 2252411 or +94 11 2252861 Ext 3359
Loved ones of those injured, deceased or missing who wish to travel to Sri Lanka are informed that Sri Lanka Tourism will facilitate all arrangements including local transport, local accommodation, official documentation, repatriation. Please contact Madu +94 77 3986553 for assistance.
Sri Lanka Tourism would like to assure tourists who are already in the country and unaffected by the terror attacks that their safety and the safety of every Sri Lankan is now the government’s priority; the police, tourism police and security forces are jointly implementing a comprehensive security plan to ensure their safety across the island including all important tourist sites.
As an additional precaution and public safety measure a temporary night time curfew is being imposed by the Sri Lanka police. All measures have been taken to ensure that airport travel is not affected by these temporary security measures. Tourists can travel to the airport freely by producing their valid air travel tickets and passports. Curfew passes are available with all police stations and tourist police points across the island.
Meanwhile a security briefing was held on 22nd April for hotel owners and operators on the new safety measures that are being rolled out and to seek their cooperation in strengthening security at hotels and resorts.
Sri Lanka Tourism would like to reassure the world that all possible measures have been taken to ensure the safety and security of tourists. Our world-famous tourism sites, hotels, resorts and other tourist attractions will remain open as usual. There are no planned road closures or restrictions on movement anywhere in the island during the day and the night time curfew is only a temporary security measure. Free Shuttle busses have been organized for the convenience of tourists between the airport and the cities of Colombo and Negombo.
“Sri Lanka is a proudly diverse multicultural nation, in our darkest days we stand together – We will respond to hate with love and our trademark Sri Lankan resilience will endure, we will continue to build our celebrated hospitality industry in fact we will invest our resources with renewed vigour. We stand strong with the rest of the world that is affected by the cowardice of terrorism and we will continue to be an example of compassion and strength. We have a strong history of multiculturalism and tolerance and we invite Sri Lankans at home and wherever they may be to be ambassadors of peace and kindness and give new meaning to the idea of ‘Sri Lankan hospitality’” said Sri Lanka Tourism Chairman Kishu Gomez
Sri Lanka Tourism looks forward to warmly welcome all those who have planned trips to the country in the days, weeks and months ahead.
Ministry of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs
No. 78, Galle Road, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka
Mobile: +94 777 354 794
Web : www.tourismmin.gov.lk www.srilanka.travel