Sri Lankan Crisis: Key Tourism Convention In Colombo Postponed

Arun Kumar Das

Apr 07, 2022, 03:20 PM | Updated 02:47 PM IST

Sri Lanka tourism.
Sri Lanka tourism.
  • Despite overwhelming registrations, Travel Agents Association of India convention has been postponed due to the deepening crisis.
  • With Sri Lankan crisis deepening, the much awaited tourism event of Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) in Colombo slated to be held this month has been postponed.

    Plunging into a political turmoil, currently the island nation of 22 million people has been witnessing a serious economic crisis with acute shortages of food, fuel and other essentials — along with record inflation and crippling power cuts.

    The tourism industry, worst affected during the pandemic, was looking forward to the TAAI convention in Colombo amid the declining number of Covid cases in the country.

    The current economic and political situation in the island nation where there is a shortage of fuel, power and gas, the daily consumer needs along with the political unrest in parts of the country have compelled us to postpone the convention in Colombo, said TAAI president Jyoti Mayal.

    Earlier, TAAI had unveiled its convention brochure and theme logo for the mega event.

    Tourism is always the first to be hit at the outset of any crisis, but we continue to stand strong and committed to our counterparts in Sri Lanka to revise tourism as soon as the opportunity arises by rescheduling the convention, Mayal added.

    TAAI had an overwhelming response to the convention registration which had crossed 500 mark. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) along with Sri Lanka Airlines and the hotels in Colombo were eager to host the gala event.

    According to TAAI, delegates, invitees, and stakeholders said that travelling to Sri Lanka at this time would not only burden the Sri Lankan friends but also cast a shadow of uncertainty on the history of the convention in Colombo.

    TAAI is in constant touch with the stakeholders, partners and the hosts in Sri Lanka who continue to assure their fullest support to hold the 66th convention.

    As per the feedback and suggestion received, the managing committee of TAAI has decided to postpone the 66th convention which was to be held from 19 to 22 April this year in Colombo to a future date, which shall be communicated to all in due course, once the situation is Sri Lanka returns to normal, said TAAI Secretary General Bettiah Lokesh.

    According to TAAI, tourism is a catalyst that bridges the gap between nation and economies and it has maintained that as soon as the situation comes back to normal, new dates for a grander convention shall be announced in association with SLTPB and SLAITO.

    Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.

    Get Swarajya in your inbox.