The tourism industry yesterday (02) met with the airlines working to Sri Lanka to discuss a strategy to achieve a faster restoration post-Easter Sunday terror attacks.
The meeting was productive with discussion of views from both sides on worries and challenges.
Airlines had highlighted that before they could prolong support, Sri Lanka will have to address the opposing travel advisories by talking to the diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka as well as Sri Lankan foreign missions overseas.
They stressed that this implementation must be done simultaneously with an aggressive PR campaign to update the world on the situation in a single reliable voice at this is crucial point of time.
In addition, ideas were shared from their previous involvements in markets they had served and what actions the countries and the airlines had taken to recover the tourism industry.
The airline industry has recommended that Sri Lanka quickly needs to device confidence-building measures before airlines can launch an aggressive support campaign.
Three days directly after the bombings, cancellations of existing bookings surged 86.2% whilst new bookings fell. Forward bookings for July and August, which had been successively 2.6% ahead of last year, as of 20 April, fell to 0.3% last as of 23 April.
Airline sources also confirmed that by this week, the inbound traffic has fell by 50%. May is usually a low month for tourism and the Easter Sunday attacks compounded the situations.