You’d think Peter Travis, of Travis Sennett Sully Ross, might know a
thing or two about tourism, what with his agency’s long-running campaign
extolling the delights of the English Riviera.
But Travis and his wife, Carole, rejected Torbay’s sybaritic lure for
Sri Lanka, where independence-seeking Tamil Tigers embarked on a new
bout of nastiness barely 24 hours after they landed.
By the time the couple had motored to the island’s ancient northern city
of Anaradapura, the guerrillas had torched the refineries near Colombo,
destroying a third of the country’s oil reserves.
This necessitated a quick exit, helped by the local army commander who
obviously didn’t want the embarrassment of any British tourists stopping
a stray bullet.
Next came a series of road blocks manned by government troops. ‘They
weren’t threatening,’ Travis says. ‘But you get very nervous when a 20-
year-old is pointing a Kalashnikov at you, even if he is friendly and
Actually, Travis has found himself staring down a gun barrel once
before, in Montreal, where the police thought the house in which he was
staying was supposed to be empty. And the Mountie wasn’t having any
Quebec Libre nonsense. ‘He said if I’d been a French Canadian he’d have
And would he go back to Sri Lanka? ‘Oh yes. The people are lovely and
the island beautiful.’ Sounds like a pitch for its tourism business
might be imminent - once Travis has changed his underpants.