I’ve always championed late November as a great time to visit Sri Lanka for the beach lover in search of bargains. As the month progresses, the sunshine hours on the west and south coast increase dramatically. But this November, 2018, the west and south coast beaches are quieter than normal.
The power struggle in Parliament which has temporarily left Sri Lanka with not one Prime Minister but two has given the tourist industry a jolt.
This – frustratingly – coming only a couple of weeks after Lonely Planet named Sri Lanka as the No 1 destination in the world for 2019.
Sri Lanka could not be behaving more normally, with day-to-day life going on as usual, but wherever you go in the world the tourist industry is not helped by such political manoeuvrings.
At such times, there will always be a few travellers who cancel, or prefer to put off their trip to this beguiling island until another year.
It is an illogical response, of course. In the UK, if a terrorist bomb goes off in London, nobody who lives there thinks for a minute that people should no longer visit the country.
Sri Lanka’s political dispute is limited to arguments in Parliament with much of the population, as far as I have seen, shaking their heads wearily at it all.
But some tourists have cancelled – or suspended – their trip and that means there are even better deals than normal.
Meanwhile, the words of one shopkeeper stick in my mind. “The tourists are later this year,” he said. “The politicians have their favourite ideas about how the country should be run. But all we want is to feed our families.”