Sri Lanka, 2019 was to be the year it cemented itself as a bucket list destination. Since emerging from decades of instability, tourist numbers to the island nation had been steadily increasing year upon year. Word was spreading about the treasures found within its borders, and late last year, Lonely Planet named Sri Lanka as the number one destination to visit in 2019.
But the Easter attacks changed everything. Once news broke, many booked flights home or cancelled their travel plans and the tourism industry came to a grinding halt. Sri Lanka’s Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) reported a huge drop in tourist arrivals of 70.8%, between May 2018 and 2019. For an economy so reliant on tourism, a dramatic decrease in visitors was devastating.
Since the events of April, the country has been in recovery mode. Security measures have been bolstered across the nation, resulting in travel warnings being lowered. So, with locals poised to welcome visitors once again with their signature hospitality, the time to return is now – because nothing has changed but the perception.
Thankfully, the future looks promising. In July, Inspiring Vacations experienced a 300% increase in Sri Lanka website traffic, compared to May, and bookings for 2020 are already exceeding expectations. If you’re eager to support the Sri Lankan economy and explore the sights, minus the crowds, there’s never been a better time to visit.
For travellers ready to return and experience this magnificent destination for themselves, Inspiring Vacations offer a multitude of flight-inclusive packages to Sri Lanka, ranging from 9 to 19 days. Currently, all tours are small group experiences, with no more than 16 passengers, and either 4 or 5-star accommodation throughout. This intimate group size allows visitors to interact with locals and embark on authentic cultural experiences, such as cooking classes and village walks.
Tours typically fly into Colombo, with plenty of time to explore the colonial streets, stroll down beach-side Galle Face Green and pick up some bargains at the sprawling Pettah Market, before continuing up the west coast. For history-buffs, stops at cultural capital Kandy and the towering Sigiriya Rock Fortress will be among the highlights.
Nature lovers will adore Sri Lanka for its thriving wildlife population and lush landscapes. No trip is complete without a safari through Yala National Park, home to the highest density of Leopards in the world, and a ride on one of the world’s most scenic train journeys, deep into Sri Lankan tea country.
Together with a worldwide network of travel experts, Australian-owned Inspiring Vacations offer culturally unique and delightfully unforgettable flight-inclusive tours to destinations across the globe, at value for money prices. As they are an online company, customers and travel agents are free to browse and book online at any time, with the backing of their 24/7 customer service.
Inspiring Vacations’ Sri Lanka tours start from $2,999 per person twin share, and include return international airfares, airport transfers, some meals and ample sightseeing.