EU provides Euro 3.5 million grant to boost Sri Lanka’s tourism industry
Sri Lanka is to receive a grant of Euro 3.5 million (Rs. 728 million) from the European Union (EU) to boost Sri Lanka’s tourism industry that has been affected by the Covid 19 pandemic.
The EU has reportedly called on the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) to provide relevant proposals soon.
The request was made at a meeting held between EU Ambassador in Sri Lanka Denis Chaibi, Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga and SLTDA Chairperson Kimarli Fernando a few days back. Commending the proactive measures taken to contain the spread of Covid 19 by the government in Sri Lanka, the EU Ambassador has said the decision to grant Euros 3.5 million was made in support to boost the tourism industry impacted by the pandemic.
Expressing gratitude on behalf of the Sri Lankan government, Minister Ranatunga has reportedly called on the SLTDA Chairperson Fernando to submit the relevant proposals to the EU in the immediate future.
According to SLTDA data, tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka stood at 71,370 in March of which 60% came from European countries.
The Minister had pointed out that Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s policy framework has recognised tourism as a thrust sector for economic development in Sri Lanka.
Noting that the government’s objective was to boost the tourism industry by generating US$ 10 billion in foreign exchange and increasing the annual tourist arrivals to seven million by 2025, the Minister has added that every step will be taken to meet the desired target despite the challenges posed by the Covid 19 pandemic.
Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the country until the global Covid 19 pandemic resulted in a lockdown situation. However, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is already drawing up plans to boost the industry in the next few months. Sri Lanka is expected to open up tourism sector by July. However, the growth potential in the country’s tourism industry is not lost on the smart investor. Given the financial support extended by the international community to uplift Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, foreign businesses/investors could explore business/investment opportunities in the island’s tourism sector.
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