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Attacks in Sri Lanka: tourism hit hard

2019-04-22T03:21:58.015Z

By targeting four hotels, including three luxury hotels in Colombo, suicide bombers hit Sunday, April 21, one of Sri Lanka's most dynamic sectors. An economy that was just recovering from an endless civil war and crisis ...



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Tourists in a deserted street of Colombo, after the series of attacks that bloodied the country, Sunday, April 21, 2019. ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP

By targeting four hotels, including three luxury hotels in Colombo, suicide bombers struck Sunday, April 21, one of the most dynamic sectors of Sri Lanka. An economy that was just recovering from an endless civil war and the constitutional crisis of last year.

In six years, tourist attendance had doubled in Sri Lanka, jumping 10% just last year. Indians, Chinese, British, but also Germans, Australians and French plebiscite this destination. Jobs had doubled since 2012.

The sector reported the equivalent of $ 4 billion last year. Certainly far from the $ 7 billion in diaspora transfers, but as much as textile exports ($ 4 billion), and four times more than tea ($ 1 billion).

The attacks are therefore a severe blow, the Prime Minister acknowledged on Sunday, to a sector that was very dynamic. Foreign investment, whose emblem remains the port of Hambantota in the hands of the Chinese, may also suffer from the return of violence, ten years after the end of the civil war. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka has become a middle-income country.

The year 2019 was to mark a rebound in the economy after the political crisis at the end of last year, which had stagnated growth to just over 3%. But now, the Sri Lankan currency is expected to unscrew. An additional challenge for this country that imports a lot of oil and is already heavily indebted.

► Sri Lanka: "This kind of attack lends itself to accentuating divisions"

Source: rfi

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