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Sri Lanka Lowers Costs For Airlines To Revitalize Tourism.

The Sri Lanka government has introduced measures that would decrease ground handling charges and fuel fees ( in order to boost tourism. By decreasing costs for the airlines, Sri Lankan officials hope flight ticket prices will decrease, which will ultimately attract more visitors to the island country.

The Sri Lanka tourism industry has been suffering after a series of terrorist attacks targeting churches during Easter Sunday on April 23, which resulted in the deaths of more than 250 people. The attacks were carried out by members of ( National Thowheeth Jama'ath, a jihadist organization operating in Sri Lanka.   

Sri Lanka is estimated to have lost up to $1.5 billion in tourism revenues since the April attacks, with the tourism sector making up 4.9% of Sri Lankan GDP. The government has sought to revive tourism by cutting prices and advertising that the country is still safe to visit. 

The largest number of tourists to Sri Lanka come from nearby India, with the Sri Lankan government eager for those Indian tourists to return. "I assure all of India that Sri Lanka is secure. All those directly and indirectly involved in the attacks are in custody, and several countries have lifted their travel advisories, including India," said ( John Amaratunga, the Sri Lankan tourism minister.

The government has been confident they would get tourism back to normal after the attacks.

"Not only us, Egypt has gone through this, Bali had been through it. Tourism will recover, but is unfortunate for the economy... we have gone through many such incidents of terror and war," Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.    

From 1983 to 2009, ( Sri Lanka was in a state of civil war that hindered the tourism industry. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, also known as the Tamil Tigers, fought against the Sri Lankan government in an insurgency.

The United Nations has said that as many as 100,000 people ( died during the civil war. 

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:9SRIL
Date:Jul 10, 2019
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