You will by now have heard the news, have seen the distressing pictures flashed across your television screens, and will fully understand the scale of appalling tragedy that unfolded on this beautiful island on Easter Sunday. Words are rarely adequate when it comes to capturing the true emotions created by such events.
This tragedy is completely at odds with the true reality of modern Sri Lanka, a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society that has been enjoying an extended period of peace and growing prosperity in recent years. No one expected this.
It’s been a difficult few days for everyone at Sri Lanka In Style, although we are fortunate that no employees, guides or clients were hurt in the attacks. We are relieved and very grateful for that, but at the same time we of course are so very sorry for those that have suffered.
We would also like to take this opportunity to offer our heartfelt thanks to you for the many messages of concern, support and goodwill that have flooded in during recent days. It has been comforting and inspiring for all of us to receive such encouragement, providing a welcome reminder to us all of just how many friends of Sri Lanka there are around the world.
We also wish to thank all our wonderful employees and guides who during the past few days reacted with so much courage, commitment and passion to ensure all our guests were looked after with love and care. Within an hour of the hotel explosions the operations team had assembled an emergency care desk that started to reach out to all our guests. Many have worked tirelessly during the tense aftermath, holed-up in the office during night-time curfew, manning the telephone lines and reorganizing logistics so clients were all feeling safe and secure. We are immensely proud of the team for their efforts.
During such a time of loss, while many are in deep mourning, it does not feel entirely right to speculate about what the future holds for Sri Lanka tourism. However, as the post-emergency phase comes to an end, we must start to look forward.
Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans have a long history of resilience. The island has faced many challenges in its long history but has always bounced back strongly. Sri Lanka In Style has also faced many difficult challenges during our own 15-year history. However, when faced with a crisis – mirroring the country as a whole – we have always responded with such unity, resilience, spirit and enthusiasm that we have emerged stronger, usually sooner than we feared at the outset. We have complete confidence that Sri Lanka, as well as Sri Lanka In Style, will display the same fortitude of spirit in the coming months.
Sri Lanka has so many friends around the world. Those loyal friends have always reached out and supported the island during times of need. Their voices are already being heard in telephone calls, emails and messages. It seems that so many who travel to Sri Lanka make a deep and emotional connection with an island that goes so far beyond the beauty and magical splendor of the beaches, wildlife parks and historic sites. Sri Lanka has a special soul, a happy heart, that reaches out to all visitors with undiscriminating warmth and generosity. We know that when this security situation calms, which surely it will soon, our friends from overseas will be reaching out and returning in greater numbers than ever before.
And as we rise to these new challenges, we will do so displaying the same values of inclusiveness and unity that underpin the very foundation of Sri Lanka In Style. Like the country we live in and love, we are a multi-ethnic and multi-faith organization that treats all people as equal. We are in essence the polar opposite of the religious and ethnic extremists that spend their time trying to divide societies to fuel conflict, violence and pain. We are surrounded by family, friends, partners, clients and fellow travel companies with the same values as ours, and we shall proudly live out those ideals in everything we do.
Thank you again for your generous support and encouragement.
Sri Lanka In Style Team.