The Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TNCCI) in Madurai has urged the Indian government to check the attack on visiting Sri Lankan pilgrims since the travel advisory issued by Sri Lanka will seriously affect the tourism and trade to the state.
The TNCCI in a statement pointed out that India-Sri Lanka trade is about $5 billion and export to Lanka is eight times more than import.
With a population of around 2 million Tamils in Sri Lanka state's opportunities for business growth and tourism development are good and these despicable acts should not affect the ongoing business of tourism and pilgrimage, the TNCCI said in its statement.
"The image and hospitality of Tamil Nadu people should not be allowed to be tarnished by mindless harassment of foreign tourists."
The trade body appealed to Sri Lanka to withdraw the travel advisory it has issued.
The TNCCI, noting that the budget carrier Spice Jet will start services between Madurai and Colombo from September 20 and it is the first international flight from Madurai, expressed concern that the attack on Sri Lankan pilgrims has the potential to cast Tamil Nadu in a negative light and hurt the economic prospects.
Business, trade and tourism between Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu will suffer, the TNCCI warned.
The Chamber said it is taking a 50-member trade delegation "on the first flight to Colombo to meet our counterparts to improve bilateral trade and investment."
"On no account, tourism and pilgrimage traffic between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka should be disturbed," the TNCCI said.