Hikkaduwa, May 20 (BAN/ AD): The serial blasts which targeted churches and top hotels on Easter Sunday has claimed more than 250 lives and as a result it has also wiped out the livelihoods of those who depend on tourism. Hotel occupancy across the island has plummeted by 85% to 90%. The tropical beaches, restaurants and shops are empty.
Some tourism officials say the damage to the industry after the bombings is worse than during the 26-year civil war between the LTTE and the government which ended a decade ago. At least then, the violence was mostly contained to the north of Sri Lanka, they said. This time, no part of the island has remained untouched by the blasts.
Government is putting all efforts to come over this crisis; the government has put together a relief package comprising easy loans at special rates and reduced taxes. There are also plans to formulate a $100 million insurance fund for compensation to any tourist injured or killed while visiting the island.