a VirtualTourist member from Twyford
I am booked to have a tour of Sri Lanka andthen a hotel stay in Wadduwa departing the UK on 12th January. I know it's not going to happen. You know it's not going to happen. Everyone knows it's not going to happen. Hayes and Jarvis (my tour operator) will not make a decision as to what they will do until Friday 7th January - 5 days before we are due to go. Am I the only person who feels this is ridiculous? There is no way that anyone should now be going on holiday to Sri Lanka until such time as the infrastructure can support it - with the devastation, all the resources are needed for the local population - for whom it is a terrible time as they have lost loved ones and possessions
Hi Paul, My feelings exactly.... the locals need ALL the resources available to them, for themselves just to sustain their lives right now. They need the water, the food, and any transportation, etc.... they do not need "happy tourists" in their way. In fact anyone who goes to any affected areas at this time should feel ashamed that they would dare to take a relaxing "vacation" there while the people are in shock and reeling from such devastation... as well as trying to stave off diseases, etc... This is a fight for survival, not a place to relax. Shame on any tour operator who is still trying to make money on this. Perhaps he's trying to find a place a bit further "removed" from the devastation. That doesn't exist... and double shame on him if that's what he's doing. Thank you for your clear-headed assessment of this crisis of unprecedented proportions. w
I am supposed to be married in Kalutara on 17th January and Thomas Cook will not give any decision beyond 7th. How ridiculous is that? How could anyone celebrate a wedding when a nation is in mourning? Do you think there is any chance Thomas Cook will insist we go????
I am due to get married in Beruwela on 6th Feb, my tour operator ( cosmos) have got in touch to change our destination. I am please as it would be disgraceful to send people to stay in hotels and 'be happy' when others in Sri Lanka are suffering and homeless. Put the homeless in the hotels. Melanie
We have a wedding booked in Kalutara in February and have been told the same by Thomas Cook-to wait until the 7th January. Apparently if the assessors decide it is safe to go we are not entitled to a refund wether we feel it is appropriate to go at this time or not! The decision is in their hands by the sound of it.
You are very fortuanate to have such a good company melanie. Lets see what Thomas Cook does,but i will not sit back and let them force me to go. It isnt right given whats happened. Surely the press would get to hear if sufficient people complain.
jonray, I was upset that they were orginally saying that it was ok to go, but they could turn round a week before we are due to get married and say it was unsafe, this would not give you enough time to rebook anywhere. I did kick up a fuss kept ringing etc as we have a reception booked and paid for etc. Also how could i go to celebrate the most important day of my life in a country where so many people are suffering, i would feel ashamed of myself and i think that the tour operators are selfish to expect people to go, just so they make money. Do you have anyone else going with you, there was 10 of us so we all changed. All the best, let me know how you get on. Melanie
There are five of us going. I think we need to kick a bit of a fuss up too. Thanks for the help. Jonathan
Looks like there are a couple of responsible travel agents but the majority are just being silly. I complained to ABTA but they agree with the 7th Jan decision date!
At last they appear to have seen sense and have come back to us saying that we may have an alternative holiday or a refund. So now all I have to do is to find an alternative....
I am supposed to be getting married in Sri Lanka in April and my travel agent has told me to ring 2 weeks before we are due to go to see if it is safe or not. That has annoyed me because it doeasnt give you enough time to arrange alternatives etc. I am meant to be staying at the Villa ocean view. Does anyone know if this hotel has been badly affected or not?? I cant seem to find out anything. Have alot of elephants drowned also? The reason I wanted to get married in Sri Lanka was because of mine and my partners undying love for elephants and I just wondered if things like the elephant orphanage etc were ok. My heart also goes out to all the people out there.
I understand what you are saying but your wedding is meant to be the best time of your life, so rather than have a simple wedding if I cant have the full works like I wanted then id rather not go. Does anyone know the answers to my questions?
Dawn, I think deep down you know the answer you are seeking, difficult as it may be to voice it at this time... w
what does that mean?
Dawn, Given what you know about the disaster, please give me the best-case and worst-case scenarios about how your wedding plans will proceed. w
we have friends booked for the beginning of february in Villa Ocean View, as part of my wedding party. Thomas Cook have allowed them to change their holiday if they pay administration charges. We are still undecided on what to do at the moment though and would still like to travel to sri lanka if its possible, we are waiting until we get some more information before we decide. Obviously you havent got the time that i have though. Good luck let me know what happens!
Dawn, I was in Kaluara in Aug of last year. I keep in contact with friends in the wadduwa district. They are all in a state of shock have suffered great losses and need our help,understanding and financial help, as does the whole of Sri Lanka. The elephant orphanage is fine, It's up in the hills and most of the elephants (being more in touch with nature than ourselves) headed for higher ground along with many of the other animals. I have been told that only 2 elephants died. The elephants are fine............the people not so. I would advise you strongly not to celebrate your wedding in Sri Lanka unless you are willing to make compromises. To expect the Sri Lankan people to make your dream wedding come true is unrealistic and you will end up feeling guilty. Go elsewhere if you want the whole works......or scale down the proceedings and donate something to these desparate people. I realise your big day is very important to you, but in the whole scheme of things has to pale into insignificance. Sorry. You do know the answer really....
we have changed our wedding plans, it was all so confusing as everyone gives different reports, even the hotel said they were up and running and still doing weddings, as you say its not fair to celebrate whilst they are still mourning - but try telling that to our tour operators, tradewinds and kuoni are saying its ok to go on / after 1st feb!!. One day we will visit Sri Lanka and help to rebuild its tourist industry!