Signs to watchout for before planning Srilanka trip - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Signs to watchout for before planning Srilanka trip

While Srilanka is inching back to recovery with help from India and other countries, would it be a good idea to plan a trip to island nation right now? While Govt and tourism board with want to post a happy picture so that prospective tourists get good image and are convinced to book, several things should fall in place before tourism returns in full swing.

If I am to plan a trip to Srilanka, I would watch out for below signs, to decide if it is good to plan or wait a bit longer.

Quick Summary

1 Fuel supply should stabilize across the country

2 Protests should stop

3. Prices should remain reasonable

4. Public transportation should resume

5. Newer post covid rules should be fair

1 Fuel supply should stabilize across the country

When we thought everything is getting back to normal, news of fuel shortage again emerged June last week. Fuel supply is crucial for so many reasons.

  • Without assurance of fuel supply your taxi driver won’t be confident of going too far from Colombo
  • Without fuel, public transport won’t work. More spending on taxi (if taxi driver manages to get fuel somehow)
  • Without fuel and public transport employees of hotels, resorts, restaurants, tourist places won’t be able to get to work. They can;t source supplies hence many experiences will be compromised for the paying customer due to lack of staff and supplies.

Restoring Fuel supply is also a tricky part.

It is not enough to provide fuel to Colombo alone. Supply should be restored all around Srilanka. If that is not possible Govt should ensure seamless supply to at least some regions to start with- say Colombo-Kandy-Galle-Matara, the popular tourist belt in the island nation.

Tourists plan their trips a month or two or more in advance. So they need assurance that normalcy will prevail for months to come. Govt needs to sort out their finances with fuel suppliers on priority so that frequent news of fuel shortage doesn’t emerge.

If Govt can fix electricity supply and promote sale of EVs, that also could be good boost to tourism. 200 km range is good enough to visit many of the key attractions from Colombo

2 Protests should stop

If there are regular protests then there will be road blocks, traffic jams, possible violence and other issues hampering safety and timely movement of tourists. You don’t want to get held up on your way to airport and miss your flight or risk getting stranded on the way because someone damaged the taxi you were commuting in.  For protests to stop normalcy should return, people should have food and job. So need to see how long it takes.

Soon after I wrote this protestors have stormed presidential palace and the president has escaped from the country... Hope Srilanka gets a capable administration.

3. Prices should remain reasonable

Travel industry has suffered massive losses over 2 years and many business owners are keen to recoup their losses by increasing the price. I think some 10-15% increase is understandable given the inflation, fuel prices and other issues but if the entry ticket to safari/tourist place, hotel room, food everything is now costing 2x, 3x what it was pre-pandemic, then as a tourist I would have to think if it is really worth and check my alternate options.

I asked a few bloggers who went on FAM trip to Srilanka about the price of safari, temple entry, so that I could compare with my 2018 trip expense and assess how much has it increased. I didn’t get any response. Below is some reference point






Cheapest Flight ticket: 


Chennai-Colombo etc

10000-12000 INR on Srilankan


-22000 INR


Sigria rock entry fee (SAARC)

15 USD



Dambulla temple entry fee

10 USD



Safari entry fee


Budget homestay in Sigriya


Decent Meal for 6 people in Colombo


Train ticket- Colombo to Galle

*2022 pricing not known. Websites have old rate only, could be same or could have increased a bit but websites not updated. Need towait for update from those who paid and travelled in 2022

I have had 3 trips to Srilanka so far. I have visited Kandy, Galle, Matara, Nuwara Eliya, Sigriya etc. But some part of Srilanka- such as Trincomalee, Jaffna etc are still pending. Looking for a right opportunity to plan a trip

4. Public transportation should resume

Like I said earlier, public transportation is key indicator of normalcy. Many workers take public transport to their work place. Without a viable alternative like public transport, taxi drivers can charge through these nose as they know customers don’t have an option.

Srilanka has a good network of budget trains and buses. I am not sure what % of train network is electrified. If trains and buses resume their service then tourists who are comfortable using public transport can save lots of money.

5. Newer post covid travel rules should be fair

Earlier travel was simple. Get a visa/eVisa, book and fly. Post covid, so many new rules are popping up. International travelers need to check these rules for the country they are visiting, the cost of complying with these rules and what would happen if results are not in our favor.

  • Vaccination Rules: While all countries want travelers to be double vaccinated which is fair, some countries accept only specific vaccinations or have some rule that vaccination should be done within last 6 months.
  • Covid Test Rules: If you need an RTPCR report before boarding or while returning, the cost of this report would be extra and the cost and impact of what happens if someone in the group tests positive.
  • Insurance Rules: Some countries are mandating travel insurance that covers quarantine stay if found positive. This adds to your trip cost
  • Package Rules: Some countries are making an effort to weed out low budget travelers, by forcing inbound tourists to take packages from designated travel agencies. If I am a budget traveler comfortable using public transportation, staying in hostels/cheap hotels and managing on my own without a package, most travel companies aren’t interested in serving me as they don’t get to make much money from this kind of budget travelers. Only if you book luxury hotels, cab and other premium services, they get to make a decent cut.

We need to watch out what are the difference vaccination, covid test, insurance and other rules Srilanka enforces. Each of these rules would mean extra cost, time, effort for compliance and risk if something goes wrong. We tourists book a flight ticket months in advance but we’ll have to comply with whatever rules that are in force on the day of travel. Hopefully Srilanka will keep it simple. At this moment following rules apply to visit Srilanka, as per govt website, but do check before planning a trip.

  • eVisa (20 to 25 USD per person)
  • Proof of Vaccination 
  • Mandatory travel insurance 12 USD per person, can be purchased on arrival or online

Do you find this useful? Are you planning to visit Srilanka soon? Do you have some other concern or question? Do comment.

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