tourism

Sri Lanka Prepares to Welcome Back Tourists

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.

Not sure why they wrote “COVID-29” – Video typo?

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?

Welcome to New York

With the release of her new album “1989” and single “Welcome to New York,” Taylor Swift has crossed over from being a poster girl for Nashville to being a welcome ambassador for New York City.

NYC Tourism Ambassador Taylor Swift Standing On an NYC Roof

NYC Tourism Ambassador Taylor Swift Standing On an NYC Roof

Many in New York are calling this a questionable choice, as T.S. is a newcomer. In Swift’s defense, that’s kind of what ambassadors do. An ambassador is “a diplomatic official of the highest rank sent…on a temporary mission.” Swift is one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. Plus, one of the great things about New York is that it’s a big salad bowl full of people from all different cultures and places, including the South (or, in Swift’s case, Tennessee by way of Pennsylvania).

I love Taylor Swift. I find her music infectious. Welcome to New York continues in that tradition. But her lyrics game has really dropped off!