Love Sri Lanka Explore

June 2019 Updates

On-Ground Updates


30th June 2019

  • Bilateral Tourism MOU signed in Colombo
    Kishu Gomes, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, and Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, deputy governor for marketing in Asia and the South Pacific at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote bilateral tourism between the two countries.


29th June 2019

  • Minister Samaraweera says impact on tourism not as dire as anticipated
    Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has stated that the Easter Attacks’ impact on tourism may not be as dire as first expected. During a media interview with AFP he explained that even in the bombing’s aftermath, domestic tourists filled hotels, and visitors from key European markets are already starting to return to the island. The Minister had initially predicted that Sri Lanka could lose 30 percent of its tourism revenues about $1.5 billion this year but now believes the loss will be less than one billion.
  • Bangladesh side awaits clearance for Sri Lanka Tour
    While the Bangladesh Cricket Board initially announced a cancelation of the team’s Sri Lanka tour in the wake of the Easter Attacks, Bangladesh Cricket Authorities are now waiting for the green light from the country’s respective security authorities as to if the team can travel for the scheduled tour in July.


28th June 2019

  • South African President stops over in Sri Lanka
    President Cyril Ramphosa stopped over in Sri Lanka on-route to attend the G20 summit in Japan. He was met by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe with cordial discussions taking place shortly afterward.
  • SL President meets with Ambassadors to request for easing of travel advisories
    President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday met with envoys of 16 Islamic countries to request that strict travel advisories put in place soon after the Easter Attacks be amended given the current situation in the island.


27th June 2019

  • Minister of Tourism explains extension of Emergency Regulations
    Minister of Tourism, John Amaratunga, during a line up of special events held in India, has explained that the extension of emergency regulations in Sri Lanka was necessary in order to continue with investigations expeditiously and not a reflection of the security situation in Sri Lanka. He explained “Emergency does not mean Sri Lanka is in danger. “The situation in the country is normal”.
  • 32nd Joint Meeting of WTOC for East Asia and the Pacific and Commission for South Asia to be held in Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka is set to host the 32nd Joint Meeting of The World Tourism Organization’s Commission for East Asia and the Pacific and Commission for South Asia in 2020. Sri Lanka’s candidacy to host the meeting had been backed by a large body including UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili as move to support the island after the Easter attacks.


26th June 2019

  • Indian promotion launches in Mumbai and Delhi
    The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) and Sri Lankan Airlines launched 15 special promotional packages to the Indian travel trade in Mumbai with a guest appearance by Sri Lankan-born Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez. Media sources inform that it was thereafter launched in New Delhi on the 25th of June. The special offers begun on 10th June and will run till 30 November. The 15 offers span across varying categories ranging from standard, superior to deluxe offerings starting from $ 180 per person. The promotion hopes to target 32 flights per week from 11 destinations in India with an average of 150 passengers per day.
  • Tourism industry urges Government to re-evaluate airfare structure for European Market
    The tourism industry has urged the Government to re-evaluate airfare structures as means to attract more European tourists to the country. Hotelier and AG SEP Research Head Dr. Dietmar Doering citing a recent study has noted that airfares from Europe to Sri Lanka are the most expensive, compared with other key tourist destination in the South and Southeast Asian regions. The proposal suggested was that the government set up a taskforce to look into airfare cost structure, in order to bring costs down.
  • The United States amends its travel advisory to Sri Lanka
    The United States downgraded its travel advisory on Sri Lanka on Monday night from a level 3 to a level 2. It is expected that the relaxation will bring in more tourists from the US.


25th June 2019

  • PM requests for reduced landing charges
    Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has requested the civil aviation and treasury authorities to reduce landing charges levied on aircrafts touching down in Sri Lanka. It is expected that such reductions may attract more tourist flights into the country.
  • Sri Lankan Airlines brings down 200 MICE Market visitors
    The airline flew in the visitors from Chennai to Colombo, visiting the south of the country in an effort to boost & improve tourism between Sri Lanka & India. The niche MICE market that refers to a specialized area of group tourism dedicated to planning, booking, and facilitating conferences, seminars, and other events are expected to pick up in the island.


24th June 2019

  • SLAITO signs MoU with SLTPB to assist tourism recovery
    The Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Sri Lanka Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) yesterday to assist in rebuilding the tourism industry.
  • Travel & Tourism fair launches in Colombo
    The Travel and Tourism Fair 2019 was organised by the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators with Sri Lanka Tourism & the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the event officials explained that presently Travel agents had been invited to key properties in the country to showcase the packages available and boost occupancy rates to those specific markets.
  • Tourism sector employees stage protest
    Several employees of small and medium tourism industry engaged in a protest last week claiming that they received no benefits from the concessionary loan scheme introduced by the government named “Sancharaka Poddo”. They further claimed that their request for a moratorium was being ignored.


23rd June 2019

  • Emergency regulations extended
    An extraordinary gazette notification was issued extending the emergency regulations in force in the island for an additional month. The Gazette reads that these measures were taken in order to ensure the security of the general public and ensure the smooth flow of the country’s activities.
  • Digital campaign launched in the UK and France successful
    Minister of Tourism, John Amaratunga has explained that the digital campaign aimed at attracting targeted audiences from select markets via digital advertising within a window of six months, has shown successful results in the UK and France. The evaluation data is expected to be used to fine tune the campaign before its scheduled launch in Germany, India and China in the next few weeks.


22nd June 2019

  • Sri Lanka Tourism Global Promotional campaign to launch in July
    Minister of Tourism, John Amaratunga has confirmed that Sri Lanka Tourism will launch its global promotional campaign in July with an investment of Rs. 500 million. The target markets the campaign will include the island’s largest tourism source markets such as India, China, UK, Germany and France.
  • SLTPB to launch PR campaign
    Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) has received approval from the Sri Lanka cabinet for its planned Rs. 415 million PR campaign. Minister of Tourism, John Amaratunga has stated his view that the campaign will commence in the near future.
  • Best Folklore Performance awarded to Sri Lanka at Seoul tourism fair
    Sri Lanka was awarded the best folklore performance at the Seoul International Tourism Industry Fair (SITIF) held in Seoul. The exhibition was attended by over 100,000 visitors.


21st June 2019

  • 2 day railway strike begins today
    The Sri Lanka Railway Locomotive Engine operators union announced yesterday that they would be on a 48 hour strike beginning today.
  • Sri Lankan Airlines first in South Asia to opt for Airbus’ Skywise Health Monitoring
    SriLankan Airlines has become the first customer in South Asia to sign a Letter of Intent (LoI) for the Skywise Health Monitoring (SHM) application from Airbus. Once deployed, SHM will save time and decrease the cost of unscheduled maintenance for the airline. SHM will also support the airline in identifying, prioritising, analysing and handling in-service events. (Excerpt from ada Derana News).


20th June 2019

  • Cabinet approves expanding relief package for SL’s tourism industry
    The Finance Ministry has proposed a grace period (up to 31st March 2020) for the Working Capital Loan Scheme, introduced for institutions and individuals engaged in tourism, with the coverage of the Debt Securities Fund further expanded. A two-month grace period up to 30th June 2019 will also be provided to passenger bus owners.
    The Working Capital Loan Scheme introduced for travel agencies and individuals will further cover music bands, while the ‘Sancharaka Poddo’ concessionary loan scheme is to be implemented through Regional Development Banks providing financial assistance for small-scale informal sector persons and institutions engaged in tourism-related businesses.


19th June 2019

  • Minister of Tourism believes State of Emergency will not be extended
    Minister John Amaratunga has expressed his understanding that the state of emergency implemented in the island at present would not be extended past 21st June. Authorities hope for a further relaxation or removal of travel advisories after the state of emergency protocol is lifted.
  • Sri Lanka participates at China’s largest travel expo.
    The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), local travels agents, hotels and service providers are attending & participating at the 2019 Beijing International Travel Expo (BITE), which opened its 3 day exhibition yesterday. Sri Lanka is expected to launch special promotional packages in the coming weeks specifically targeting the Chinese tourist market.
  • 4 trains on Northern Railway line will be cancelled on 20th June for maintenance.
    Cancelled trains are as follows:

    • Meena Gaya Intercity Express Train.
    • Talaimannar Night Mail.
    • Kankesanthurai Night Mail.
    • Trincomalee Night Mail.

    The Ganewatte to Colombo train will experience a 1 hour delay on 21st June.


18th June 2019

  • Retail & Tourism Alliance for 60 day initiative to boost economy.
    Thursday will see the unveiling of a joint initiative between the retail & tourism sector to boost the country’s economy. The initiative is led by Asanka De Mel, the Founder of Lovi Ceylon, and Wunderman Thompson Sri Lanka and has been endorsed by Sri Lanka Tourism, the Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association (SLRA), The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL), the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO), and the Sri Lankan Chapter of the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies (4As).
  • Spotlight on Sri Lanka at Amsteluxe.
    The country took centre stage at Amsteluxe, the first ever luxury travel show/workshop held in the Benelux region, in Belgium. The event aimed to promote luxury tourist destinations across the world. Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance member and managing director of Resplendent Ceylon, Malik J. Fernando, represented three high-end resorts (Tea Trails, Cape Weligama and Wild Coast Tented Lodge), as well as the Sri Lanka Collection, which includes Teardrop Hotels, Manor House Concepts, Santani and Water Garden Sigiriya.


17th June 2019

  • Poson celebrations take place around Sri Lanka.
    The island celebrated Poson poya yesterday with buddhist temples across the island holding special ceremonies & communities setting up ‘dansal’ across the island, providing food & drink free to motorists and crowds joining in the festivities.
  • SLTB Plans large scale event to boost tourism.
    Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau has indicated that the SLTB is in the discussion stages of planning an event to boost the island’s tourism industry and may enlist the assistance of global celebrities.
  • Arrival numbers up since April.
    The SLTB has indicated that tourist arrival numbers have risen since the April attacks and has now been recorded at around 2200 visitors a day.


16th June 2019

  • Former Maldivian President part of delegation visiting Sri Lanka.
    Former Maldivian President, Mohamed Nasheed, who is the country’s current Speaker, arrived in Sri Lanka on 14th June along with a high level delegation. Scheduled to meet with Sri Lankan authorities, the delegation has called on the world to support Sri Lanka by visiting the island and noted that this visit was an expression of its solidarity toward Sri Lanka.
  • Cultural Exchange Tour for Indian and Sri Lankan military personnel and their families.
    160 Indian Armed Forces personnel and their families arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday through a cultural exchange tour hosted by the Sri Lankan Army. The same number of Sri Lankan forces and families concurrently left for the Indian leg of the tour.
  • Free Workshop for travel industry on digital strategies.
    Antyra, the digital marketing agency primarily involved in travel and hospitality, will hold a free workshop for the travel industry titled ‘digital strategies for a faster recovery’ on 21 June at 3pm. For enquiries call Saera on +94 77 1933359


15th June 2019

  • Special Transport Plan for Poson.
    A Special Transport Plan will be implemented during the Poson Festival from 14th to 18th June. The program will focus on devotees travelling to Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Thanthirimale from Colombo and other main towns, with the Sri Lanka Transport Board deploying 600 buses covering Rajarata, Colombo, Kandy, Gampaha and North Western areas for the Poson Festival.
  • Bookings from Australia steadily picking up.
    Media reports indicate that after the Australian Government’s decision to soften its travel advisory on Sri Lanka that bookings to the island had begun picking up. Tour operators in Australia have encouraged their clientele to make the best of low rates and crowds in Sri Lanka by booking flights & packages during this period.
  • Sri Lanka set to host 14th Edition of the West Asia Baseball Cup
    Sri Lanka is set to host India, Pakistan, Iran, Nepal and Bangladesh in the 14th Edition of the West Asia Baseball Cup from 15-20 July.
    For more information on the event visit:


14th June 2019

  • Sri Lankan insurance bodies to provide travel insurance to tourists
    Sri Lanka’s state-owned Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) is awaiting Government approval to issue travel insurance to tourists. The planned policy is reported to include a US$ 100,000 medical cover.
  • Tourism Campaign targeting China & ME countries to be conceptualized soon
    As Sri Lankan authorities begin a promotional campaign for the Indian market, the minister for tourism has explained that special packages would also be conceptualized for the Chinese and Middle Easter markets in the coming weeks.
  • MOU to be signed between Sri Lanka & Thailand to promote bilateral tourism
    A Memorandum of Understanding is expected to be signed between the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and the Tourism Authority of Thailand, during the visit of Thailand’s Tourism Authority Governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, from the 27th to the 29th of June. The memorandum will aim to promote bilateral tourism between the 2 countries.


13th June 2019

  • The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) on islandwide strike
    Employees of the SLTB National Workers’ Society launched an island-wide strike yesterday mainly affecting the depots of Galle, Maharagama and Kalawana.
  • Cruise Ships return to Sri Lankan Ports
    MS Europa 2 was one of the cruise ships that called at Sri Lankan Ports as the security situation in the island normalized.
    The liner had 309 passengers and 356 crew onboard. Lankan authorities expect more liners to return as strict international travel advisories have now been relaxed.
  • Church targeted during the Easter Sunday Attacks reopens
    St Anthony’s church which was 1 of the churches targeted and affected by the recent attacks in Sri Lanka has reopened its doors after reconstruction. The church held a religious mass to commemorate its reopening.


12th June 2019

  • US Secretary of State to visit Sri Lanka
    US Secretary of State Pompeo will visit Sri Lanka as part of his indo-pacific tour that will begin 24th June.
  • Tour operators and hotels offer low prices to boost tourism
    International Media reports are currently covering the price reductions offered by tour operators & hotels in Sri Lanka, noting that the deals (from airfares to hotel packages) provide the best value for money options for the season.
  • PR campaign to boost Sri Lanka’s tourism sector put on hold till advisories are lifted
    The CNN promotion campaign that the Government explains was approved before the April 21st Attacks, will be used for a PR Campaign to boost Sri Lanka’s tourism sector. Authorities have however noted that the campaign will only run after all travel advisories are lifted.


11th June 2019

  • New Arrangements at Sri Lanka’s International Airport to facilitate simplicity for passengers
    The Sri Lanka air force and officials of the BIA have announced new arrangements including the entry of vehicles to relevant gates, to minimize inconveniences caused to passengers due to the strict security measures that were put in place after the Easter Sunday Attacks. While security is still high, Arrival & departure lobbies have now reopened for visitors and airport taxi services have resumed.
  • Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance to lobby for public-private partnerships (PPP) to conduct market research and promotions
    The Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance has announced that it will begin talks with the Government to achieve public-private partnerships (PPP) to conduct market research and promotions for the travel industry. Mr Malik Fernando of the Alliance has noted that private sector market research and promotional expertise could benefit national tourism campaigns in the future.
  • European Airlines plan to begin Winter Flights to Sri Lanka
    Media reports have indicated that Edelweiss Air and LOT Polish hope to operate flights to Sri Lanka in winter and are in the midst of discussions with Sri Lankan authorities regarding same.


10th June 2019

  • Indian Prime Minister concludes visit to Sri Lanka
    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded his visit to the island yesterday meeting with Sri Lankan Government officials & paying his respects at one of the sites of the Easter Sunday Attacks.
  • Special Security training program conducted for hotel sector
    The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka conducted the first of a security training and awareness building program for hotels in Colombo yesterday. President of the association, Sanath Ukwatte, has encouraged the industry to take steps to invest in both training staff and in special security equipment.
  • Kite Festival to take place in Sigiriya this month
    Kite Fest will take place on the 15th of June in Sigiriya and will bring together cultural performances, food stalls & music acts in addition to the main festival.


9th June 2019

  • Indian Prime Minister to visit Sri Lanka today
    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is due to visit Sri Lanka following his tour in the Maldives.
  • Restrictions on Route to Airport due to Indian PM’s visit
    Authorities have indicated that vehicular movement will be limited from 11am to 12am, along the Katunayake Airport, Katunayake Colombo Expressway, Borella, Nelum Pokuna junction, along the Galle road and Janadhipathi Mawatha and on reversed routes from 1.45 pm to 3.30 pm. Those travelling to the airport have been requested to use alternate routes and arrive earlier to avoid delays.
  • No longer any terror groups in Sri Lanka
    PM Ranil Wickremasinghe has asserted that there are no longer any groups affiliated with IS in Sri Lanka & has noted that Indian authorities agree with this assertion. He further noted that the Indian PM’s visit was an indication of the confidence India had in the security situation in Sri Lanka.


8th June 2019

  • Sri Lankan Airlines named the most punctual Airline.
    Despite challenges caused by increased security at the BIA, Sri Lankan Airlines has achieved the title of ‘World’s Most Punctual Airline’ for the second time in less than 12 months. Flight data analysis for the ranking is done by the international analysis company
  • France amends its travel advisory on Sri Lanka.
    France amended its travel advisory on Sri Lanka relaxing instructions to ‘exercise high degree of caution’ from its initial travel proscription.
  • Deputy Mayor of Paris in Sri Lanka
    Deputy Mayor of Paris, Jean-Francois Matins was in Sri Lanka, meeting with the island’s Minister of Tourism & other Government officials & sharing his insights for Sri Lanka’s recovery as a leading tourist destination.
  • Dutch Tourist numbers expected to increase with advisory relaxations
    Dutch tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka registered an all-time record last year, with arrivals declining heavily in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday Attacks and consequent travel advisory. But reports indicate that the Dutch Mission in Colombo had lobbied heavily for the relaxation of the advisory, given Sri Lanka’s return to normalcy and has since been receiving a number of queries from Dutch Citizens eager to make their trip to the island.


7th June 2019

  • The UK amends its travel advisory on Sri Lanka.
    Following the growing list of countries that have amended travel advisories on Sri Lanka, the UK yesterday relaxed its advisory which recommended against all but essential travel, now advising travellers to be vigilant. It’s expected the new advisory status will provide for an increased flow of tourists from the UK. Despite UK Authorities initial advisory, UK tourists were still among the highest for arrivals in the island during the last month.
  • US Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs in Sri Lanka.
    The United States’ Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs Clarke Cooper is currently in Sri Lanka on an official visit. Secretary Clarke has visited different parts of the island, concluding meetings with Sri Lankan Government & Military officials.
  • The island prepares for Monsoon Season
    Sri Lanka begins preparation for the South-west monsoon conditions that take root by late May and early June. The Western, Southern, Central, Sabaragamuwa and North-Western provinces are expected to see thunder showers & windy conditions in the coming weeks.


6th June 2019

  • Sri Lanka Tourism to Launch Special Promotional Campaign in India.
    Sri Lanka Tourism, Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO), and the Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) along with Sri Lankan Airlines plan to launch promotional packages to boost the Indian market. The said offers are to be valid for stays from 10th June to 30th September 2019 and will be available through the Sri Lankan Holidays network in India.
  • Australian Home Affairs Minister concludes meetings in Sri Lanka.
    Minister Peter Dutton arrived in Sri Lanka, concluding meetings with Prime Minister Wickremasinghe & officials of the Sri Lankan Government. Discussions during his visit covered the areas of human trafficking in terms of unauthorized migration rackets & assistance provided to Sri Lanka in the Easter Attacks investigations.
  • 20 member Australian team assisting Sri Lankan authorities in investigations.Visiting Australian Minister Peter Dutton had explained that his Government had provided assistance to Sri Lanka in the form of a 20 member team working mainly in the area of forensics.


5th June 2019

  • Public holiday as Sri Lanka celebrates Ramadan.
    Sri Lanka celebrates the Ramadan festival today as the new moon was sighted yesterday.
  • Chinese Authorities further amend advisory on Sri Lanka.
    The Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka further amended its travel advisory for Sri Lanka to ‘take safety precautions’.
  • Indian travel advisory on Sri Lanka amended.
    The amended advisory advises Indian nationals traveling to Sri Lanka to be careful and vigilant.
  • Sri Lanka cricket records its first win in the 2019 World Cup matches.
    The entire island celebrated as the Sri Lanka cricket team scored a dramatic 34 run victory against Afghanistan yesterday.


4th June 2019

  • Australian Home Affairs Minister to arrive in Sri Lanka.
    Minister Peter Dutton is set to arrive shortly in Sri Lanka on a 2 day visit. It’s expected that he’ll pay his respects at St Sebastian’s Church, the site of one of the Easter Sunday Explosions, where 2 Australian nationals were among the victims. Media sources also inform that he is to hold a press briefing on national security and human trafficking
  • Sri Lanka Signs US $ 4.5m Agreement for Luxury Resort.
    Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment signed a US$ 4.5 million investment deal with Sundara (Pvt) Ltd, to develop luxury villas in the south coast. The project is to be completed by 2020 & was marketed to investors in the Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Holland and the US
  • Organized Public Marches in Kandy & across the island at a close.
    Large public marches which took place in Kandy and other parts of the island ended peacefully last evening.
  • 211 persons under detention.
    Police Spokesperson informs that of the arrests made over the Easter Sunday Attacks that 211 persons remain under detention.
  • Bus associations inform they would refrain from operations from midnight 4th June.
    Inter provincial bus association & other private bus associations indicated yesterday that they would refrain from normal operations from midnight on 4th June in solidarity with protests that took place during the last few days in the island.


3rd June 2019


2nd June 2019


1st June 2019