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Sri Lanka awaits winter tourists to revive terror-hit sector

Some flights resume, bringing hope of earlier-than-expected recovery

An elephant walks past tourist safari jeeps at Kaudulla national park in Habarana, Sri Lanka, on Aug. 6, 2019.   © Reuters

UNAWATUNA, Sri Lanka -- Seven months after a wave of suicide bombs sucked the life out of Sri Lanka's tourism sector, winter holidaymakers have returned to reclaim the empty shores along the southern coast of the South Asian island.

A group of Russian tourists bob in the shallow Indian Ocean waters on a sun-drenched afternoon in Unawatuna. The resort town is a cove in the south that is a draw for the calm waves that roll on to its wide beach. A few kilometers down the road, the sounds of Russians fill the narrow streets of the Galle Fort, a 17th century relic of Dutch colonialism that is now a U.N.-recognized cultural heritage site.

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