The Sri Lankan tourism minister, Harin Fernando, has issued an apology after facing backlash over his comments about the Maldives at the ITB Berlin Fair. During the fair, Fernando stated that tourists would typically get bored in the Maldives after five days and suggested they visit Sri Lanka instead. His comments were met with criticism from both Maldivians and Sri Lankans alike.
The Maldives, a popular tourist destination known for its pristine beaches, is a significant source of revenue for the country. The comments made by Fernando have therefore been received with concern by the Maldivian community.
Following the backlash, Fernando took to Twitter to apologize for any inconvenience caused, stating that his comments had been taken out of context and misrepresented on social media. He also emphasized the importance of collaboration between Sri Lanka and the Maldives on tourism.
While Fernando's apology has been welcomed by some, many remain critical of his comments and the impact they could have on the Maldives tourism industry. Some have called for greater sensitivity and respect towards the Maldives and its tourism industry, which plays a vital role in the country's economy.