Supporting Sri Lanka by not stepping down the destination for tourism is now a MUST and our responsibility.
After the horrible news of this morning I decided to write these lines. This post is not about a destination. This is a post about People. The Singhalese people we met 3 years ago when I went to Sri Lanka with my family. A 12 days marvelous holidays visiting the most incredible places, meeting the most charming people and experiencing the most unique sites related to nature, espiritual, gastronomical or mindful moments. I was mainly impressed by the people, their generosity, their smile, their positive attitude towards life, regardless the level of income or cultural level they had. This post is about the people we met, because we don’t want just to show you pictures of landscapes and temples but the most important asset this country has, The Sri Lankan citizens.
We were impressed with the promising attitude taken from corporations investing in unique assets such as @ResplendentCEYLON with their Tea trails and resorts like Cape Weligama, with entrepreneurs like @MALIKFERNANDO, or the education and the development of all levels of actors in the tourism sector in order to make this a wonderful destination for Tourism, such as the whole team of @TheFabulousGateway / Sri Lanka in Style with other entrepreneurs such as @MiguelCunat and its shareholders. I could speak first hand saying this is an incredible and promising destination for a mindful travel experience.
Now, awaking this morning with the terrible news of the bomb attacks, I had the reflexion that It would be a big mistake from all the trade industry to lay down, to dismiss, to black out a country like Ceylon/ Sri Lanka who has been strongly recovered from a long war with courage and sacrifice due to the events happened this Sunday morning.
A bunch of miserables human beings should not decide over 22 million citizens such as Daminda, our friend, our family, our lovely guide – driver we had during our trip, who lives directly from this industry, or the well educated guides we met in the temples, or all these waiters we met at the hotels shining every morning at breakfast with a true smile in their face, or all these ladies working in the TEA TRAILS at the interior of the country trying to provide education and progress to their families.
Sri Lanka, a country with 90 % of alphabetization, a country with an incredible promising future, a country with peaceful people who enjoy every day of their life with dignity and proud, can not be turned back from EUROPEAN / occidental markets just based in the terrorist attacks we have all suffered in our hearts and souls this morning.
Paris, London, NY, Barcelona, Madrid (I lived this first hand in 2004) + you can name how many european capitals suffered from terrorism in the last years … Have they been stopped from traveling by travel trade after these attacks? Would it be fair to black out cities and countries just because of that? You/ we know the answer is NO. We all decided NOT TO blocked these destinations because of these irrational minds and terror. There is a difference of being in countries under continuous unstable situations than countries that occasionally have a peak in uncontrolled actions like this one.
Obviously, I am talking about this now because we have a personal relationship with this wonderful country and citizens. it is the time to build more bridges and not walls. A wall would be not to write now in travel magazines about Sri Lanka, or stop doing press trips within the next months. A wall would be stop promoting this destination in the trade events because of fear. A wall would be to redirect future bookings now because of fear. I hope we, as decision makers of the travel industry do not participate on elevating walls and black out the prosperity of such a wonderful country. Sri Lankan citizens do not deserve to be ignored and set apart from a promising future. A future they have relentelssly and resiliently worked hard to grow. Otherwise, the terrorist would have won this battle. Lets give our hand and our support to them and fight against terror with our resources.