In this July 24, 2019, photo, a Sri Lankan vendor sells refurbished LED bulbs at a roadside stall in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Photo: AP)
COLOMBO, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena's decision to end a four-month long state of emergency will boost the country's tourism industry, Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga said here on Saturday.
The minister told Xinhua that ending the state of emergency will now portray a clear message to the world that Sri Lanka is safe for travel and they expected tourist arrivals to increase from the end of this month.
"Tourists can now enjoy the beauty of this country. Sri Lanka suffered a setback from the suicide explosions but the country is now safe as those all involved are either dead or have been arrested," Amaratunga said.
He added that the government targetted 2 million visitors by the end of this year.
Sri Lanka's tourism industry was the worst affected following the multiple suicide blasts on April 21, which hit three churches and three luxury hotels, killing over 250 people.
Over 100 people are in custody over the attacks to date.