Despite concerns from the outside world, conditions within the country have been stable for some time. Many argue that – even with revisions made – the FCDO advice is still out of touch.

“The sentiment here in Sri Lanka is very positive,” says Marcelline Paul, the vice-president of sales and marketing at Uga Escapes. “There has been good progress with the IMF and other international donors. Inflation is down to single digits compared to the 2022 average of 44 per cent.”

The company, which operates a portfolio of six boutique properties, plans to launch a new hotel, Uga Halloowella, in the tea-growing region of Ella at the end of this year. It sits within easy reach of the Pekoe Trail, a new hiking route running through the central highlands. Resplendent Ceylon and Teardrop Hotels, both established players in the destination, also have new properties opening in 2025.

Sadly, feelings of optimism are tempered by political realities and ongoing violations of human rights. Bills to decriminalise homosexuality are still under discussion and a report by Human Rights Watch earlier this year expressed concerns about freedom of speech. But a willingness to work through problems suggests change is possible.

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