Image: Sri Lankan Airlines staff wear masks at Bandaranaike International Airport after Sri Lanka confirmed the first case of coronavirus in the country, in Katunayake, Sri Lanka January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte.
Heads of several chambers of commerce in Sri Lanka said that the deadly coronavirus epidemic has been adversely affecting the Sri Lankan economy on Friday (31).
The number of Chinese tourists who came to Sri Lanka in the year 2018 was about 266,000. But after the Easter attacks of 2019, it has dropped to 160,000. This is a decrease of 25% compared to the year.
Chinese tourism has seen an increase in the number of tourists arrivals before the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Only 16,000 Chinese tourists arrived in the country during the month. A large amount of foreign exchange earnings was lost.
The Coronavirus has had a profound impact on the rest of the national economy. The Chinese are involved in a number of Sri Lankan jobs, such as the Port City Development Project, the Expressway Project, the housing and construction sector, but many Sri Lankan workers are reluctant to work with them.
Business associations say that Sri Lankan consumers are reluctant to enter the supermarkets that are frequented by Chinese nationals. As a result, their businesses too are being hampered.