Sri Lanka’s decision to impose stringent Covid-19 testing protocols a reinstated visa fee of US$35 per visitor, when it reopens its doors to foreign tourists on August 1, has divided local tourism industry stakeholders.
Industry players, who declined to be named, are up in arms over the stringent Covid-19 testing protocol. The chairman of a local hotel chain said: “At this rate, tourists would prefer to stay home than come to Sri Lanka.”
However, the heads of two key associations representing hotels travel agents said such testing protocols were necessary to maintain Sri Lanka’s success in countering Covid-19. The country has seen 1,880 confirmed cases as at June 13, with a death toll of 11.
Sanath Ukwatte, president of The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka, said that those stringent measures are necessary to curtail pemic spread. “The best-case scenario would be no restrictions imposed on tourists. However, we need to respect the health authorities who are doing their utmost to contain this