TGL calls on Govt. to ban inbound travel | Daily News


TGL calls on Govt. to ban inbound travel

Sri Lanka Institute of National Tourist Guide Lecturers (TGL) called on the government to ban inbound travel in response to the spread of the coronavirus. The TGL directors did so on March 13 at the Tour Guide Lecturers building in Colombo 10.

The directors were of the view that long term damage could be done to the tourism industry if there was no swift action.

Naturalist Birding Sri Lanka Managing Director Chandima Jayaweera said the recent confirmed case of a Sri Lankan national was a tour guide. The guide had received the virus from an Italian tourist on holiday in February. The tour guide had passed the virus to his colleague while being boarded in the same dormitory.

Jayaweera said that tourists travel all across the country and are therefore very effective vessels for the spreading of the virus. He said that it was common practice to take foreigners into the most rural of settings. He said that locals were likely to have physical interaction with foreigners as well. He called on the government to act swiftly so as to prevent a travel ban being placed on the country over a long term horizon. He said that damage mitigation was essential and a long term travel ban could have a devastating impact on the tour guide profession.

TGL Director Pem Wickramasinghe said that a temporary suspense of arrivals was a must and called on the government to make a decision urgently on the matter. He said that we are anyway heading into the offseason and that tour operators have to directly deal with the tourists putting their members at risk.

Wickramasinghe said that at least with travellers who obtain the service of tour guides there is a history of locations visited. He said that with independent unguided travelers there is little scope to trace their location history.

Wickramasinghe said that though we have contained it so far it was impossible to tell if and when exactly the disease will have a larger outbreak.

TGL Director Mahesh Karunarathne called on the government to follow the lead of other countries that had taken national security concerns over economic concerns and look to ban inbound travel. He called on the government to rise above politics and act decisively.


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