English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Tourism gets hit in Sri Lanka as hotels & restaurants shut down due to shortage of cooking gas

Acute shortage of cooking gas impacts hospitality sector

An acute shortage of cooking gas has hit Sri Lanka’s hospitality sector. The shortage of this essential item has forced many hoteliers and restaurant owners in the island nation to shut down. For Sri Lanka this could deal a big blow as the tourism sector plays a key role in its economy.

As the economic crisis deepens, ICRA Lanka said imports of essential items including fuel, gas and even milk powder are thinning. The island nation’s foreign exchange reserves have fallen to record lows and are merely adequate to support imports for one month.

The Daily Mirror in a report said that the “shortage in cooking gas is so acute that canteens, restaurants and other food outlets are forced to close doors to their patrons while the milk powder shortage has prompted certain small grocers in the city and the outskirts to stock pile 450 gram packs and sell them in small quantities of 50 grams and 100 grams to people around them at prices which are higher than their prorated retail price, providing an oasis to enrich the traders.“

Also read: India looking at currency swap option to help exporters as Sri Lanka plunges into forex crisis

“There is uncertainty and gloom all around the hoteliers and restaurant owners are feeling the pinch more as this is the time for them to generate additional revenue,” a foreigner who is currently in Sri Lanka told India Narrative.

Sri Lanka’s inflation has already breached the double-digit mark in November pushing up food prices like never before. In November, Sri Lanka’s inflation rate was 11.1 per cent.

Rating agency ICRA Lanka said that “people are forced to eat less on soaring food prices as high as 20 per cent,” Daily Mirror noted.

The pain is not likely to end very soon for Sri Lanka though Colombo is trying to do all that it can to attract tourists. The next year — 2022 is likely to be marked as ‘Visit Sri Lanka Year’.

Even as the government took a host of measures including curbs on imports and incentivizing citizens residing abroad to send remittances, the situation has not improved. In fact ICRA Lanka has also prescribed seeking a loan from the International Monetary Fund.