Tourism becomes the first casualty

tourism       Amid rising protests in Tamil Nadu against Sri Lanka over its alleged war crimes against ethnic Tamils, the tourism industry in India has taken a big hit. The number of travellers from the island nation has fallen by 10-15 per cent in February-March, compared to the year-ago period, according to the Indian Association of Tour Operators (Iato).

We have already witnessed a drop of around 15 per cent in incoming traffic from Sri Lanka. The main concern is the fact that it may become even worse as the government is still in a dilemma on the whole issue,” according to Gour Kanjilaal, executive director, Iato, which has over 1,600 members nationwide.

Sri Lanka’s national carrier, Sri Lankan Airlines, has decided to cut its service by 50 per cent in the Colombo-Chennai route after some Sri Lankan nationals were recently attacked in Tamil Nadu. The Sri Lankan government had also issued a travel advisory to its citizens to “exercise caution” when travelling to Tamil Nadu.

Not only the incoming traffic, but Indian travellers also visit Sri Lanka. The impact of this crisis would be felt on both fronts.he crisis has also taken a toll on bilateral trade. Many Buddhist priests from Sri Lanka also travel to India to visit religious places,and Sri Lankans also visit India due to medical reasons.

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