By offering free tourism visas on arrival, reducing airline charges to encourage carriers to reinstate flights, and asking online travel agencies to cut commissions, the Sri Lanka government has been rolling up its sleeves to get its tourism industry revving again.
But how reasonable is it to expect the likes of Expedia and Booking groups to cut commissions as part of recovery efforts? And how effective is such a measure as waiving visa fees in bringing back tourists, especially from a market like China, which is also being pursued by a slew of other countries that has eased visa policies?
The government is matching excellent private sector work to prop up one of its top three foreign exchange earners, which was impacted by the April 21 Easter Sunday bombings on hotels and churches in Colombo. Since August 1, it has waived visa fees, typically costing $20 to $40, for citizens from 48 countries, including top three sources India, China, and the UK.
What’s more, plans to slash ground-handling charges, aviation fuel prices and embarkation fees to encourage airlines to return have been in force beginning this month. Both programs are reportedly for a period of six months.
Sri Lanka Tourism Minister John Amaratunga also told local reporters he was going to meet representatives of global online travel agencies to request that they reduce commissions for a period of time, according to a report in the local Daily News. Read More