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No drop in tourist arrivals despite terror attacks

Tourists arrivals have not shown a decline despite the two terrorist attacks at Habarana and Galle during the week which many thought would cripple the country's leisure industry and other sectors of the economy.

Sri Lanka Tourist Board (SLTB) Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara said the attack on sailors at Habarana has not hampered the tourist operations either in the North Central Province or the rest of the country.

The SLTB assured visiting tourists that all hotels continue to attract visitors and that the government has taken measures to ensure law and order in the country, Nanayakkara said.

The Front House Manager, Koggala Beach Hotel, Sampath Nissanka said that there was no cancelation of bookings by foreign tourists and they continue to come in droves as before.

Tourists have never been targets of terror attacks and there is no need to panic over a single incident. Local and foreign tourists have always preferred to tour the South as an ideal destination, he said.

General Manager Hikkaduwa Beach Hotel, Henry Wickremarachchi said the season will be affected with a low turnout of tourist arrivals if such incidents of violence continue. German and Danish tourists have made inquiries regarding the situation in the country.

The Embassies of Germany and Australia have issued travel advisories warning its citizens to be extra cautious before embarking on a tour to Sri Lanka.

The Chief Executive Officer, Galle District Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Prasanna Gunawardena said that the situation in Galle has returned to normal.

The tourism and hospitality industry is not affected. He said that a Netherlands based company has opened a computer school in our building and they are carrying on the business as usual which shows that even foreigners are not affected by the acts of terrorists.

The LTTE attempted to launch a suicide attack on the Dakshina Naval Base when it was foiled by the Navy destroying five boats speeding towards the harbour on Wednesday.

The attack on the South Naval Base came hardly a day after the LTTE unleashed a brutal massacre on unarmed sailors going on leave and reporting for duty.

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Produced by Lake House Copyright 2006 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

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