Sri Lanka bookings from Pune hit by the Easter bombings

Prajakta Joshi
Monday, 29 April 2019

“Many of our tours have also been shifted to Maldives now. Since it’s not peak season for the tours to the island country owing to the hot and humid summers there, the number of already booked tours were anyway low,” Kelkar said.

PUNE: While the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, on Saturday issued an advisory against all non-essential travel to Sri Lanka, the travel agents have stated that most of the tours have already been cancelled in the backdrop of the bomb attacks that took place a week ago.

“Fortunately, most of the agencies from Pune did not have any tours there at the time of the attacks. But we had a few planned in May and June, which have either been cancelled or postponed by the travellers,” President of Travel Agents Association of Pune (TAAP) Vishwas Kelkar said.

While the MEA has suggested to the travellers to avoid touring the neighbouring country, the travellers have been instructed to take security measures in case their visit cannot be put off.

“Those undertaking essential or emergency travels can contact the High Commission of India in Colombo or the Assistant High Commission in Kandy, Consulates in Hambantota and Jaffna in case of requirement of any assistance. The helpline numbers of the Indian High Commission are available on the Mission’s website,” the advisory stated.

As the Government of Sri Lanka has beefed up  security in the country, a nation-wide emergency including night time curfew is in place at present, which may also affect travel within Sri Lanka.

“Many of our tours have also been shifted to Maldives now. Since it’s not peak season for the tours to the island country owing to the hot and humid summers there, the number of already booked tours were anyway low,” Kelkar said.

Pramod Shevde of Saidatta Tourism said  generally, there are not many group tours during summer to Sri Lanka. “Summers there are hotter than India. The period from September to March is the best to visit the country. The Sri Lankan government has stopped issuing visa on arrival to Indians. So there will be no tours for now,” said Shevde.

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