Bengaluru: With a 10-day emergency being declared in Sri Lanka in the wake of communal violence, plans of several Bengalureans to visit the island nation are in jeopardy.
Tour operators and travel agencies in Bengaluru confirmed that they are getting calls from travellers who had booked their trips to stay in Lankan destinations.
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Gurvinder Kaur Rajput, who was all set to leave for Colombo with her family and friends to celebrate her friend’s 25th wedding anniversary, had to make last-minute changes. “We are a team of 25 persons, including children who planned to give a surprise to a family friend on her anniversary. Now all plans have changed. We may travel in April if peace settles down,” she said. She had booked her tickets and travel through Le Passage to India, a destination management company.
Kawaljit Singh, vice-president, Le Passage to India, said travel plans have to be changed for those heading to the island nation now. “There were not many bookings done as March is the exam season. For those who had booked tickets to Sri Lanka, we have suggested to postpone the travel,” he said.
Retired IAS officer I M Vittal Murthy is one of those who has been forced to change plans. “I was supposed to leave on March 7. I’m now advised to cancel my ticket and postpone the trip,” said Murthy. He had booked his travel through Skyway International Travels.
According to S Mahalingaiah, chairman, Indian Association of Tour Operators, Karnataka chapter, with two island nations in the neighbourhood —Maldives and Sri Lanka— declaring emergency, travel options for Bengalureans have been cut down. “Maldives has declared emergency for more than a month now. With emergency in Sri Lanka, there are fewer options for Indian travellers. There are many opportunities within India to explore though,” he added.
Safe landing for 4 B’lureans
Four Bengalureans, who had travelled to Kandy three days ago, returned home safely on Tuesday morning. “We were in Kandy for the past three days, but didn’t feel any heat of the violence. Thankfully, our flight was not delayed and we reached home safely,” said P R Chandrashekar, a techie.