Leading London-based tour operator TUI has further extended its hiatus on all tours to Sri Lanka as improvements in the political, economic and social landscape are not as expected.
TUI canceled all trips to the island nation from mid to late May and in its latest review decided to extend its decision to stop sales until June 12.
Due to the economic turmoil and social unrest seen in the country which intensified from the beginning of May, TUI has taken the decision to cancel all tours booked for Sri Lanka and stop sales to the destination.
One of the main factors behind the decision was that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued a strong travel advisory, discouraging UK citizens from entering Sri Lanka.
“Due to the continuing political and economic instability in Sri Lanka, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has advised against all but essential travel.
As a result, we have unfortunately had to cancel all holidays to Sri Lanka, departing until June 12, 2022 inclusive,” TUI said in a statement. The advice does not apply to customers transiting through Sri Lanka International Airport and customers currently at the resorts can continue to enjoy their holiday as planned. “We will continue to monitor the situation and update customers if there are any further updates,” TUI said.
Speaking to Mirror Business, Aitken Spence, TUI’s agent in Sri Lanka, said the impact is not serious given that UK holidaymakers normally plan and book their trip well in advance. “There is some damage but it is not too serious for the influx of tourists expected for this month, since they are already booked well in advance. But since they imposed a stop sale, we won’t know how many bookings we’ve lost to competing destinations,” said Nalin Jayasundera, managing director of Aitken Spence Travels.
The outcome of the situation in Sri Lanka will depend on the TUI review scheduled for June 12. According to Jayasundera, TUI is set to resume selling Sri Lankan tour packages after the UK government reversed its strong advisory.