Over 700 French naval personnel conclude visit to Sri Lanka
A group of French naval personnel, comprising 745 officers and personnel had reportedly left the country recently after completing an incident-free tour of Sri Lanka.
The group were members of the French Navy vessels FNS Tonnerre and FNS Surcouf and toured several tourist sites in a bio-secure arrangement, local media reports stated.
Official ground handling agent Connaissance de Ceylan has reportedly stated that all naval officers were PCR-tested on arrival, and upon receiving negative results, embarked on the journey of exploring Sri Lanka.
The company has also said 57 individuals who were operationally involved were tested for COVID upon the completion of the tour, which resulted in negative results, the Daily FT has reported.
“This special incentive tour proves to be an example of how tourism can flourish under the bio-bubble concept if we adhere to the given health guidelines. Let tourism development in bio bubbles bring about positive results always and let the negative results be limited only to the PCRs,” Connaissance de Ceylan Chairman Chandra Wickramasinghe has been quoted as saying.
According to reports, the company has thanked all those who carefully facilitated and supported the successful conclusion of the visit by the group.
This included the Embassy of France in Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Tourism, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, the Navy, the Ports Authority, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, the Wildlife Department, Taj Bentota Resort and Spa, Marriott Weligama Bay, Amaya Lake Dambulla, Jetwing Lake Dambulla, Aliya Resort and Spa Sigiriya, transport providers, the 11 tour guides, the 30 chauffeurs, and all other operational staff.
Apart from the income from the port of call, as per French Embassy sources, the tourism part of the naval group generated Rs. 125 million in foreign exchange earnings, the Daily FT has further noted.
Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the country when the global Covid 19 pandemic resulted in global travel restrictions. However, with the reopening of Sri Lanka’s borders, foreign travellers have once again started to return to the country under the travel bio bubble concept. Sri Lanka’s tourism authorities have also conducted several global promotions targeting key tourism markets. The interest shown by foreign travellers in visiting the island including business travellers have resulted in international hospitality brands expressing interest in entering the country. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/20210618/Z_6|