As per nuseir Yasin, a popular Video Blogger from Israel had recently named Sri Lanka as the most generous nation in the world, based on his experience with other tourists during the COVID 19 pandemic.
His company had created a below video and published on the youtube while elaborating the reason for his experience.
The period from November to April considered being the best time to travel to Sri Lanka, also called as the high holiday season in Sri Lanka. Most numbers of foreign travellers arrive on the island during this period. March and April are very busy period for people, who work in the tourism industry. Usually, a large number of foreign travellers are gathering to the south and west coast of Sri Lanka during the high holiday season, in view of enjoying the sun, sea and sand.
During the catastrophic pandemic COVID 19, a large number of tourists were stranded in holiday destinations around the world, due to the sudden closure of the airports. Tourists were unable to return to their home countries. Most tourists were short of money and desperately looking for help to survive. The tourists around the world were facing many hardships due to the unexpected situation. But, in Sri Lanka, it was a different story.
Sri Lankan government also imposed a curfew over the entire island in the second week of March and closed the airport and harbours. No one knew when the curfew would be withdrawn. Tourists, as well as the locals, were not aware of what would come next! More than 10000 tourists were stranded in Sri Lanka during the closure of the airport (from 16 March to 14 March 2020).
Fortunately, the tourists in Sri Lanka had a totally different experience, proving that Sri Lanka is one of the most friendly and generous nations in the world again. None of the tourists, who stranded in the country was subjected to any difficulties due to the sudden closure of the airport and the curfew.
The people have come forward and extended assistance to the tourists. The tourists, who were not able to get accommodation, food due to some reasons such as non-availability of funds, closure of hotels, was supported by the local people of Sri Lanka.
A large number of travellers left Sri Lanka ahead of the curfew, while some other opted to continue with their holidays. According to the information from Sri Lanka tourist board, around 11000 tourists were stranded on the island. Most numbers of foreign travellers were from India numbering 2500 while 1700 from China 850 from the UK 730 from Canada 610 From Russia as well as 410 tourists from the USA. The tourists were given free visa extension by the government of Sri Lanka.
Most tourists were staying in beach resorts such as Weligama, Bentota, Mirissa. Although the exact figure is not known, there had been around 300 foreign tourists in the Weligama beach resort.
The tourists were accommodated with local families and they provided food and all other facilities they required until they leave for their home country. Everything was done voluntarily by the local people. Some tourist were staying for more than 2 months with local families.
On the other hand, the Sri Lanka tourist board with tourist police had also launched another program on the state level to help the foreign travellers stranded on the island and provided free visa extensions.
The most tourist, who experienced these local hospitalities have highly praised the support given to them by local families.
Similar kind of hospitality and generosity was displayed by the people of Sri Lanka during the Tsunami in 2004. Which was more magnitude in catastrophic level and damaged caused to the people of Sri Lanka.
A large number of beach hotels were severely damaged during the Tsunami and hampered their service. Therefore a large number of tourists, who were staying on the beach areas had to resort to some other form of accommodation, food, clothing and other facilities.
It was local people in the southern and western coast came forward to help foreign tourists, who were stranded in beach hotels during the Tsunami. The foreigners were given shelter, food and all necessary things until they leave for their home country. The tourist had to stay with local families for a few weeks until the things back to normal after the Tsunami.
There had been many such incidents in the past, providing relief to foreign travellers during difficult situations. Tsunami and COVID pandemic had been the most disastrous calamities that we faced during the recent past.
Local people had gone through a difficult time during both occasions. But local people had not neglected the foreign travellers that were staying on the island during that time, despite their own difficulties. The foreign tourists were taken care of by the local people and made sure they are safe as long as they are in Sri Lanka.