SRI LANKA: Updates and tributes flow from Australian Travel Suppliers

Sri Lanka is in mourning after 250 innocent lives were taken in a targeted spate of bombings at churches and three luxury hotels as people celebrated Easter Sunday on the island nation off the southern coast of India.

Sri Lanka is in mourning after 250 innocent lives were taken in a targeted spate of bombings at churches and three luxury hotels as people celebrated Easter Sunday on the island nation off the southern coast of India.

Three churches in Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo’s Kochchikade district were targeted by suicide bombers during Easter services. Blasts also tragically rocked the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand hotels in the country’s capital.

The majority of the 250 innocent men, women and children who died were Sri Lankan nationals including members of church congregations and staff at the hotels, with officials saying that 40 of the dead were foreign tourists.

Australian travel companies had numerous clients in Sri Lanka at the time.

Thankfully, we’re pleased to report that none of their travellers has suffered any injury or worse.

We’ve been flooded with updates and tributes from concerned travel companies wanting to let everyone know of their traveller’s wellbeing which has been amazing.

Read on for what they’ve said.



Pic: Gadventures

“We cannot allow this wave of division to further separate humanity. We must use this tragic loss to unite us. It’s my belief that compassion for all people, combined with an understanding of different backgrounds, religions and cultures, has the potential to be the fastest path to peace.”

“If any travellers with future bookings wish to postpone their tour to a later date, they can do so with no change fees. Travellers with questions regarding upcoming travel arrangements can also contact their travel agent or our sales team by telephone or email.”

G Adventures’ Founder, Bruce Poon Tip

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Pic: Adventure World

“We can confirm that all our passengers currently in Sri Lanka are safe and well. Arrangements have been made to move clients currently in the capital out of Colombo as a precaution. The wellbeing and safety of our passengers are of the utmost importance to all of us, and the situation on the ground is being monitored by the hour. We are saddened by the attacks, our thoughts and prayers are with those affected.”

Neil Rodgers, MD for Adventure World Travel

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Pic: Bunnik Tours

“Our hearts go out to all people affected by these tragic events. There is no place for this type of hatred in the world. We do have passengers in Sri Lanka, and as such we are closely monitoring the situation and abiding by all instructions from local security and law enforcement authorities. The safety and welfare of our clients and staff is our highest priority. While there may be some small changes to the itineraries due to extra security arrangements we expect these tours to run as planned,

At this stage, all tours in the coming weeks are scheduled to operate as normal. Passengers are encouraged to keep up to date with the advice issued by the Australian, United States and United Kingdom’s governments. At this sad time, our thoughts remain with the beautiful people of this country.”

Dennis Bunnik, joint-CEO of the Bunnik Group

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Pic: Contiki

“We are deeply saddened to hear about the incident which took place in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. We can report that the incident did not affect any of our passengers. We’re in contact with our team and local authorities on the ground in Sri Lanka, the safety of our passengers and staff are our main priority. Our thoughts are with all those tragically affected by this incident.”

Katrina Barry, Contiki MD

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Pic: Wendy Wu

“No passengers were in Colombo or any of the targeted areas, and all have been in touch with their families and Wendy Wu Tours. It is impossible to predict where these events may happen – it could be anywhere in the world and unfortunately, this particular act was committed in one of Australia’s favourite destinations,

Our priority is our passengers, our staff and our ground operators. We’re extremely thankful no one on our tour or any of our FIT passengers were affected, and our ground staff are safe and sound.

When talking to members of the tour on the weekend they were all in good spirits and thankful for the immediate support Wendy Wu Tours offered and provided. Our thoughts and prayers go out to victims and the people of Sri Lanka.”

Joe Karbo, Wendy Wu Group CEO

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“All travellers and leaders who are currently travelling on Intrepid Group trips in Sri Lanka are safe and have been accounted for, as have 128 staff based in our office in Colombo. We’re closely monitoring official travel advisories and receiving regular updates from our experienced local operations team in Sri Lanka,

The safety and onward travel arrangements of our customers currently in Sri Lanka is our first priority. We will be making a decision about upcoming departures by 24 April. In the meantime, if customers wish to cancel immediately and transfer to another departure later in the year they can do so with no change fees’.

Tara Kennaway, Regional Product Manager, Asia, Intrepid Group

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Editors note: We have deliberately not featured any pictures of the bombings or victims nor made any reference to who may have carried out the attacks as KARRYON has a policy and belief not to focus on amplifying the perpetrator’s cause.

Please join us in sending our love and thoughts to all those affected and to the good people of Sri Lanka.