Lonely Planet Writer

Sri Lanka is encouraging travellers to visit by dropping airline fees

If you fancy taking a trip to Sri Lanka, which was named by Lonely Planet as the top country in our Best in Travel 2019, you may be encouraged to visit by a reduction in the price of plane tickets.

Train to Kandy through tea plantations. Image by ©Matt Munro/Lonely Planet

The government of the country has taken the decision to decrease ground handling charges for airlines and lower aviation fuel and embarkation taxes. This measure will lead to an increase in the number of flights to Sri Lanka and a reduction in the cost of plane ticket prices. It has been implemented to help the country’s vital tourism industry recover after it was hit by a series of terrorist attacks on 21 April 2019.

According to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, the attacks have caused a drop in the number of visitors to the country, which welcomed 2.3 million people in 2018. There was a reduction of 57% in visitor numbers in June 2019 compared with June 2018, which is worrying for Sri Lanka as approximately half a million of its people directly depend on tourism and two million depend on it indirectly.

Golden Buddha statues on the edge of Beira Lake., Sri Lanka
Golden Buddha statues at Beira Lake in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Image: eFesenko/Shutterstock

Sri Lanka attracts visitors for its pristine beaches, timeless temples and ruins, welcoming people, rich and accessible wildlife, growing surf scene, cheap prices, fun trains, famous tea and flavourful food. It has become an increasingly popular destination in recent years for families, adrenaline junkies, eco-tourists, wellness seekers and foodies of all budgets.

Boats leave the shore on Sri Lanka’s east coast. Image by ©Jonathon Stokes/Lonely Planet

At the present time, foreign governments are advising caution but are not warning against travel to Sri Lanka. Please check the travel advisory information from your government for the latest advice.