Is it safe to go on holiday to Sri Lanka?

Our thoughts and experience at GlenMyu Estate on whether it is safe to travel on holiday to Sri Lanka.

There were protests against the government in the early part of 2022 which led to many countries recommending against travelling to Sri Lanka unless it was really necessary.

There was also a concern about food, medical and fuel supplies.

This led to a significant reduction in foreign tourists visiting the country.

Good News

We were pleased to see that in August 2022 most Foreign Office advice was lifted by many countries and it was considered okay for tourists to visit this paradise island again.

Okay to travel on Holiday to Sri Lanka

The country really needs to generate more foreign income to try to get the economy back on track so we really appreciate tourists coming wherever they stay in Sri Lanka.

What has changed?

On the 20th of July 2022, an election was held in parliament and Ranil Wickremesinghe was elected president. 

After the resignation of the Former President on the 14th of July there have not been any major protests or incidents reported.

Many of the protest have come to an end, as the main aim of the protests has been achieved. 

We are hoping that this situation continues and the message is spread that Sri Lanka is a back to being a great place to holiday and vacation once again.

Safe Here

Our experience at GlenMyu Estate

GlenMyu Estate is based around 180 kilometres from Colombo in the Sri Lankan Hill Country.

We were not directly affected by the protests that were taking places in the main cities and towns. 

There was the occasional gathering of people on the road in the small towns and villages however most protests were conducted in a peaceful manner.

The protests flared up only for a few days where we had some concerns however, after the presidential election the protests have mainly been peaceful again and concentrated in Colombo.

There are effects on the tourist industry as a result of the economic crisis and the steep rise in inflation.

The main challenges we have faced

The main challenges that we faced were as follows:

The lack of fuel available.

This resulted in us limiting our trips from the Estate as we needed to conserve fuel until the supply improved. 

Fuel appears to be coming into the country regularly now and the government has introduced a weekly quota system which means that we can travel a little more. Fues prices have risen substantially however it is still a lot cheaper than prices in Europe.

The Good News is….

Personally we get a 20 litre fuel allowance per week which is sufficient for us. We tend only to make local trips from GlenMyu Estate. We drive a Hybrid car so it is quite fuel efficient.

Overall, reducing the number of trips we make is good for the environment, so quite a good thing. 

This helps towards our view that it is safe to travel on holiday to Sri Lanka.

Shortages of local food supplies do to transport issues

The local supermarket and shops are managing to get more stock as the lorries carrying the goods are getting fuel and are able to deliver around the country.

We have seen our local fishmongers having regular supplies of fish so supplies are being transported from the coast regularly.

Some of the items that were frequently out of stock on the supermarket shelves are available more regularly.

Power Cuts.

There have been regular power cuts in order to save fuel consumption around the Island.

At this current time (October 2022) we have daily power cuts of 2 hours and 20 minutes.

These are broken down to 1 hour during the day and 1 hour 20 minutes in the evening.

It is inconvenient however we can manage.

We do not have a generator at GlenMyu Estate however have enough solar battery lights throughout the property to deal with the short power outage.

We do not use air conditioning (it is not required in the Hills!) and therefore our needs are limited.

A battery back up for the Wi Fi means that we have constant internet connections unless the main provider has issues.

The daily power cut schedule is issued via various website and online newspapers so there is no shock as to when the power will go down.

In summary, we have got used to power cuts and don’t consider them to be a major issue.

Getting around the Island

A Tourist Fuel Pass

The government has recently introduced a pre-paid card system for the ‘Tap & Go’ Tourist Fuel Pass.

The new pre-paid card system will enable tourists to use US Dollars to purchase fuel at over 300 fuel stations in Sri Lanka.

The key points about the pre-paid card system for tourists are as follows:

Valid for a period of two years.

A maximum top-up of US$ 300.

A minimum top-up of US$ 50 Tourists.

Payment in accepted foreign currency, paper money issued by foreign central banks.

The pre-paid cards can be purchased at the Airport and also from 229 Sampath Bank branches.

Lost or damaged cards can be replaced at Sampath Bank branches islandwide.

Information can be sourced from https://fuelpass.gov.lk/touristpass or the 24-hour hotline1393.

Initially, fuel will be available at 300 CPC & LIOC filling stations.

The network is expected to be expanded to 500 outlets by end of October 2022.

The Ella Odyssey

There is a regular luxury train service which started in August 2022 which starts at Colombo Fort and ends at Badulla.

This is a train focussed on tourists and stops at Haputale, so it is a convenient way to get to GlenMyu Estate.

Haputale Railway Station

How can I get more comfortable that Sri Lanka is a safe place to visit?

Look at the local press to establish whether it continues to be safe to travel on holiday to Sri Lanka.

The situation is changing day by day and we tend to follow what is going on by reading several online newspapers so that we get abroad idea of what progress is being made.

There are links to the online newspapers we use below however there are many more as you search the internet.

By keeping abreast of current events in the country this should leave you to conclude that it is safe got travel on holiday to Sri Lanka.

Read the news to keep up to date about whether it is safe to travel on holiday to Sri Lanka.

By Holidaying in Sri Lanka, am I taking resources away from local people?

Sri Lankans understand how important reviving Tourism is to get Sri Lanka’s economy back on track.

You will get the warmest of Sri Lankan welcomes across a safe and welcoming Paradise Island.

Tourism is not viewed as “removing resources from locals”.

Instead, the local people are fully aware that a steady flow of Tourists, which bring in dollars and other currencies, will assist the government to maintain essential supplies.

The foreign income that you bring helps with the purchase and supply of food, cooking gas, petrol, diesel, fertiliser for agriculture, medicines for hospitals and other essential items. 

Schools, government offices, public transport (including Sri Lanka Railways and the Highways) are open.

Everyday life is settling in as a nation of resilient individual who are striving to rebuild their lives and strengthen Sri Lanka’s economy.

We think it is essential to thank our guests for coming to Sri Lanka and supporting the country when it is in a time of need.

The experience of our recent guests - did they consider it safe to come on holiday to Sri Lanka?

Our most recent bookings at GlenMyu Estate have been from some German families and there are some French guests arriving later in October.

We accompanied our guests on a trip to Upper Diyaluma Waterfall in early October. We met several other tourists during the 4 hours we spent there. They were from Israel, France, Germany and the Netherlands. 

Many had been for Safaris and they mentioned that Ella Town was quite busy with tourists.

There were no complaints about travelling around the country, food availability and they all had a great welcome from local Sri Lankans.

The scheduled power cuts didn’t take place during our most recent guests stay and they really enjoyed their time at the estate.

In Summary - is it safe to travel on holiday to Sri Lanka?

We could consider Sri Lanka a safe place to come on holiday. 

Like other countries and cities there are places that you need to be careful and avoid.

Most people don’t spend much time in Colombo where the main protests took place.

There is now a supply of fuel, food and medicines which should be ongoing.

By coming own holiday to Sri Lanka you will be supporting the people on the Island who are very appreciative of tourists visiting the island.

The new tourist fuel pass will make it easier for you to travel around the country.

Keep an eye on the local press online and your own Governments advice on how safe it is to travel to Sri Lanka.

Go -Safe to come to Sri Lanka on Holiday

Hopefully this provides you with some comfort about how safe it is to book your holiday to Sri Lanka.

We would be delighted to welcome you to GlenMyu Estate and would appreciate if you would support the other tourist businesses around this wonderful paradise island.

GlenMyu Estate
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