Sri- Lanka at present is facing its worst economic crisis. The crisis has become so sensitive that the country is facing a scarcity of Fuel, Milk, Cooking oil as well as electricity and whatnot. The local public showed their anger at the local administration. Many believe that tourist arrival can make the situation better in Sri Lanka and the administration gave few relaxations for that. But should you travel to Sri Lanka in this situation? Is it safe to travel to Sri Lanka now for vacations, Let’s find out in this article?
Possible reasons for the Economic crisis in Sri Lanka
To understand the internal situation of Sri Lanka at the moment, it is important to know the reasons that triggered the economic crisis there. Then we will be able to put our point as if & why is it is safe to travel to Sri Lanka –
Covid is one of the primary factors of Sri Lanka’s economic crisis. 10% of Sri Lanka’s economy is dependent on foreign tourists and Covid stopped that inflow. This impacted the inflow of foreign currency to a great extent. Also, Sri Lanka used to be a good exporter of textile products to western countires, Covid hampered this export practice also. As per the official numbers Sri Lanka had foreign reserves of more than 7 Billion dollars in 2019, whereas in 2022 it is left with only 2.5 Billion Dollars. This downfall shows the impact of covid 19 on the finances and reserves.
Taxation Policy by Government
In 2019, there were continuous protests against govt on higher taxation rates in Sri Lanka. To suppress the anger of the local public, the Sri Lankan government came up with new taxation slabs for the local public in Sri Laka. In these slabs, the taxes were very low which gave temporary relief to the public but ended up finishing the reserves of the country.
Though Sri Lanka is not a big player in agriculture but still, it grows and exports some vegetables and rice. Also, Sri Lanka is a major exporter of tea in Asia. In past, Rajapaksa’s government imposed a national prohibition on the importation and use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides and ordered the nation’s agriculturalists to go organic.
This move, initially made sense, however, in a short span of time it started giving a negative shape to the economy.
Debt on Sri- Lankan Economy
Sri- Lanka, started taking debt loans from the countries like China at very high rates. The interest payment is now almost more than the principal amount which is to be paid. Sri -Lanka is sinking deep due to the loans and non-repayments of those loans. It has already lost one of the major ports to China due to the non-repayment of loans.
Ukraine- Russia War
Ukraine – Russia war has also impacted the export of tea from Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka was the major exporter of tea to Russia. However now after the initiation of Ukraine- Russian war, there is a major halt on the export of tea.
Also, Sri Lanka used to import its fuel from Ukraine, however, after the war, the fuel trade from Ukraine and Russia came to a halt. This halt made Sri Lanka buy fuel at an expensive price and without a credit line. This global situation is putting Sri Lanka into a black hole, recovery from which is looking very difficult.
Is it safe to travel to Sri Lanka now?
Should you refrain from travelling to Sri Lanka Now in 2022
Foreign tourists are worried if it is safe to travel to Sri Lanka now or not. In recent news, people have started protesting against the present government of Sri Lanka. These protests are now becoming violent.
However, Now things have become better, tourists have started coming and enjoying tours. The protests have calmed down and people have accepted the situation.
Also, as per the discussion with the local people, all the necessary things have become quite expensive. That includes milk, medicines, food and even electricity. However, as a foreigner, if you are spending in a higher currency like USD, GBP, SGD or Even INR then you will end up spending a lesser amount on the same products.
There was also a scarcity of electricity, as in some cities night electric lights were switched off but now the situation is becoming better. No, you should not refrain from travelling to Sri Lanka now. You should visit the place.
Why you should consider travelling to Sri Lanka even after the economic crisis
Well, things are now calm in Sri Lanka, however, tourism activities can heal it a bit. In Sri Lanka, people believe that now only foreign tourists can help them come out of this situation. This is the reason they are now treating foreigners very good. As per our discussion with the local people, the Sri Lankan govt has ordered the administration that there should be no problems for foreign tourists. The tourist cabs will not have to stand in queues for fuel.
As well as the electricity will be given to hotels and other accommodations where foreigners stay. There are many other relaxations which are given to foreign tourists.
Conclusion – Are tourists safe in Sri Lanka now?
As per our investigation, one should definitely travel to Sri Lanka in the present situation but should also keep an eye on advisories. As a foreigner, we should contribute whatever we can to help them come out of the situation.