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EU increases grant to Sri Lanka for revival of tourism industry

EU increases grant to Sri Lanka for revival of tourism industry

The European Union (EU) has reportedly decided to increase its grant from 3.5 million Euros (Rs.728 million) to 4.9 million Euros (Rs.1.05 billion) to revive Sri Lanka’s tourism industry affected by the COVID-19 pandemic following proposals presented by stakeholders.
The EU in May this year had decided to grant 3.5 million Euros to boost Sri Lanka’s tourism industry impacted by the pandemic, and had called on Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) to provide relevant proposals.

Accordingly, EU Ambassador in Sri Lanka Denis Chaibi had announced the funding decision during a meeting with Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga to discuss steps taken to revive the tourism industry.
Ambassador Chaibi had assured Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister that the 4.9 million Euro grant will be made available to Sri Lanka soon.
“The EU has decided to increase the grant amount from 3.5 million Euros to 4.9 million Euros after going through the proposals submitted by Sri Lanka Tourism and stakeholders. The EU has identified key sectors that needs immediate financial assistance to rebound post pandemic,” Tourism Minister Ranatunga has told the Daily FT after meeting with the Ambassador.
Ranatunga has told the media that Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s policy framework has recognised tourism as a thrust sector for economic development in the country.
The EU Ambassador has said that the grant is expected to be extended to seven key areas for the development of the tourism sector.

These areas include: development of a tourism roadmap; wellness tourism; improving small and medium scale entrepreneurs; expanding hygiene and training of those engaged in the industry; social protection programs; and improving community-based tourism.
Arrangements have also been made to allocate one million Euros to improve community-based tourism businesses located in the Central and Uva Provinces, the media report stated. 
Ranatunga has assured the EU Ambassador that the Tourism Ministry will write to the Finance Ministry’s External Resources Department to endorse the grant by the EU.

OSL take:

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is one of the largest economic sectors in the country. Sri Lanka has been listed as a must visit destination by several leading global travel publications. Despite the Covid 19 travel restrictions around the world, interest in Sri Lanka continues. Also, Sri Lanka has been awarded the safety and hygiene certification that would ensure Sri Lanka as a safe travel destination when global travel restrictions are lifted. Therefore foreign businesses/investors could explore business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism sector.  

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20200917/Z_1

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