Al Jazeera recently interviewed tourism industry leaders from three different countries on its Inside Story program. Officials from Greece, England, and Sri Lanka spoke about the measures that their countries are taking to make their countries safe for tourists and locals as they open up after quarantine.
As I am currently living in Colombo, I was curious what Kimarli Fernando, Head of Sri Lanka’s National Tourism Authority, had to say about the issue. Her main part of the interview comes in at 5:37, 12:12, and 19:02.
A few take-aways from the discussion about the future of tourism for Sri Lanka:
- There will be a certification process for both tourists and hotels to ensure that they are COVID-free.
- Sri Lanka is considering a 5-year, multiple-entry visa to encourage longer stays.
- Sri Lanka expects to begin welcoming international travelers in July.
Sri Lanka has had nine COVID-19-related deaths and slightly less than 1,000 cases. An island-wide curfew began on 20 March and is still in effect (nearly two months later) for some parts of the island, including Colombo.
I’ll admit that I am anxious about the return of international tourism. But hopefully, with the right protocols in place, it can slowly resume.
What will it take for you to travel again?
What will it take to make you feel safe to have international tourists return to your country?