There are nearly one thousand foreigners who are engaging in informal tourism in Sri Lanka running businesses such as restaurants, bars, villas, lodges and Ayurveda spas concentrated mainly in the Southern coastal areas bringing no income to Sri Lanka and the Director General of Sri Lanka Tourism said they will be holding discussions with the Immigration and Emigration Department next month to investigate the matter.
Director-General of the Sri Lanka Tourism Dhammika Jayasinghe told Ceylon Today that there are a considerable number of Chinese, Russians, Germans, Ukrainians etc., who did not leave the country during COVID-19 even when there were special flights were arranged. She alleged some of them who did not leave could be those who are engaged in the unregistered tourism business, she added.
These foreigners rent out locals’ houses and shops and redesign them to their taste in order to attract tourists by promoting the business through their online bookings. The locals give away their houses on rent and settle down in other areas after obtaining cash from the foreigners, it is further claimed.