Is it safe to travel to Sri Lanka now? The current situation in Sri Lanka after one year of economic meltdown

Is it safe to travel to Sri Lanka

If you are considering Sri Lanka as your next travel destination, you might be asking yourself questions such as, Is it safe to travel to Sri Lanka now? Are there any protests going on in Sri Lanka? Are power cuts still going on? After all the messy things that happened last summer due to the economic collapse, it is very reasonable to ask these questions before visiting Sri Lanka. If you’re looking for answers about the current situation in Sri Lanka and how it will affect you as a tourist, this post will give you the answers you seek.

(Written on 24th March 2023)

Is it safe to travel to Sri Lanka now?

Since the day I wrote an article on this topic last year, the situation in Sri Lanka has improved so much. By the time I’m writing this post on March 24th, 2023, the number of tourists arriving in Sri Lanka has significantly risen and is still rising. 

The economy is slowly but surely stabilizing.

The Sri Lankan rupee is appreciating against the US dollar for the first time since last year’s economic collapse.

The IMF (International Monetary Fund)  has approved a loan to Sri Lanka as aid to get its economy back on track, which has led to rising hopes among locals for a brighter future and tightened trust among the international community about the resurrection of the Sri Lankan economy.

Visit Sri Lanka - safe to travel to Sri Lanka

There are no daily power cuts.

The long fuel lines have disappeared.

So, it is safe to say that even though Sri Lanka has not fully recovered, there is progress in every aspect, including tourism.

And it is still one of the safest tourist destinations in Asia, if not the world.

Now, allow me to clear up some of your worries about visiting Sri Lanka.

Are there protests going on in Sri Lanka?

In the summer of 2022, when Sri Lanka was all over the international news because of the economic meltdown and subsequent protests, many countries issued warnings about traveling to Sri Lanka.

By March 2023, most of those countries, if not all of them, have already lifted their travel advisories against traveling to Sri Lanka.

The political, economic, and social situation in Sri Lanka has significantly improved compared to 2022. There are no islandwide protests.

As a democratic country, there might be occasional protests in the capital. It is always advisable for tourists to steer clear of such protests.

Are power cuts still going on?

When the economy went downhill, Sri Lanka didn’t have foreign currency to pay for the fuel and coal, which ultimately led to the low generation of electricity in the power grid. This led to scheduled power cuts around the island. 

But now, the situation has changed. There are no regular, long power cuts. But there can be occasional power cuts for maintenance. So, it’s always safe to have a power bank fully charged. 

Travel Sri Lanka - No power cuts
Photo by Dhilip Antony on Unsplash

In the event of a power outage, practically all lodgings and hotels have backup generators that will run until the electricity is restored. So you will not have to go through a long period of darkness as it was in 2022. 

The scheduled power cuts can be reintroduced in the future. To be updated about the power cuts, if there are any, you can check out this link to the Ceylon Electricity Board. There you can find the schedule, along with the time and area of the power cut.

Is there a shortage of essential supplies in Sri Lanka and will it affect me as a tourist?

There are no shortages of essential supplies in Sri Lanka at the moment that will affect you as a tourist. You won’t have to worry about running out of any of them, as supermarkets have enough supplies.

For locals, the increase in the prices of all goods has made them unaffordable at times. But the supplies are there.

For a tourist, that won’t be the case. When calculated in foreign currencies, the prices are still way cheaper than other tourist destinations.

No shortage of essential supplies in Sri Lanka - Visit Sri Lanka
Photo by Thomas Le on Unsplash

There will be some difficulties in finding luxurious, imported goods since the government has set restrictions against imports to save dollars in the country.

But if you have read some of my previous articles about Sri Lanka, you know that imported goods are not essential to having a luxurious, heavenly getaway in the pearl of the Indian Ocean.

Sri Lanka has everything you expect and more in an ideal travel destination.

You can read my post about why Sri Lanka is one of the best travel destinations after the pandemic at the above link if you haven’t already.

Are there fuel shortages? Will I have to wait in long lines?

You won’t see people waiting in long lines to get fuel now.

The QR code system is still in place and has proven to be very effective.

As for self-driving tourists, you have the chance to purchase a rechargeable fuel pass. So you can bypass the limitations on fuel.

And registered tourism operators are issued fuel that is needed to run their services.

So basically, as a tourist, you will be treated as a VIP, and your fuel necessities will be considered a priority.

So there is no need to worry about waiting in lines.

Will I have difficulties getting medical care in case I need it in Sri Lanka?

No shortage of essential medicine in Sri Lanka - Visit Sri Lanka
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Essential medicines are available in the pharmacies, and all the private hospitals have been functioning even throughout the hardest times of last year.

As tourists, I’m assuming your first choice in an emergency would probably be private clinics or private hospitals.

Government hospitals provide quality service too. But if money is not an issue and you want to avoid waiting in line, private medical centers are the better option.

I’m sure your vacation on this paradise island will be smooth without emergencies that will need any medical attention. But in any case, it’s good to know that your health will be taken care of if it comes to that. Isn’t it?

Is Sri Lanka expensive now?

Sri Lanka is cheap and affordable - Visit Sri Lanka 2023
Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

After the economic meltdown, the value of the Sri Lankan rupee dropped like never before.

So when you see the prices in Sri Lanka, you might notice the number on the price tag is higher than usual.

But, when you convert the price in Sri Lankan rupees to USD, EUR, or pounds, you will see the prices are the same as they were before the pandemic.

While almost all the prices went up post-pandemic, Sri Lanka is still maintaining the pre-pandemic prices, which is a big plus for tourists like you.

You get a better deal for yourself, and Sri Lanka gets much-needed foreign currency to restore the economy.

Why is Sri Lanka a well-deserving candidate for your next travel destination?

Sri Lankans understand the importance of tourists for the stabilization of their economy.

So, they are more than ready to welcome you as a tourist with open arms, spoil you with their world-renowned hospitality, and help you have an amazing time on this wonderful island.

The Sri Lankan government itself has started new projects to attract tourists and make their stay in Sri Lanka more memorable.

The new tourist trains such as the Ella Odyssey and the Seethawaka Odyssey are just some of those projects. If you haven’t already read my previous articles about them, I highly recommend checking them out.

By visiting Sri Lanka, you will get an experience of a lifetime that is way more valuable than the money you spent.

Visit Sri Lanka - safe to travel to Sri Lanka
Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

And every dollar you spend on this island will contribute to the improvement of the economy. Not only that, you will be securing and replenishing jobs involving tourism that feed thousands of families.

The number of tourists visiting Sri Lanka is increasing every month. But it hasn’t reached pre-Covid era numbers yet. So most of the tourist attractions, beaches, and national parks are not crowded with tourists just yet.

But I can assure you It will be crowded pretty soon. Sri Lanka offers a lot that tourists can’t resist.

So, if you want to have a holiday on an island with incredible beaches, wildlife, and scenery without worrying about a lot of crowds, now is the time to visit Sri Lanka.

Also, you will find irresistible deals for accommodations and travel packages as a part of travel promotions.

On top of all these things, all COVID-related restrictions have been lifted, making it easier to enjoy your holiday.

So, what better time is there to visit Sri Lanka than this?

The final decision is always yours. Sri Lanka is safe for traveling and is ready to welcome you. So, when are you going to visit Sri Lanka? Let me know in the comments.

නැවත හමුවෙමු😉 (Newatha hamuwemu = Let’s meet again)

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