Opportunity Sri Lanka | » Indian firm to manage three international airports in Sri Lanka says Minister
Indian firm to manage three international airports in Sri Lanka says Minister

Indian firm to manage three international airports in Sri Lanka says Minister

Daily FT: Tourism and Lands Minister Harin Fernando unveiled ambitious plans to engage a prominent Indian company to oversee the management of key international airports in the country to cater to the influx of tourists.
This ground-breaking announcement was made during the Sri Lanka Tourism Networking Evening held recently in Mumbai, underscoring the Government’s commitment to boost infrastructure and strengthen closer ties with India.
The airports slated for management by India’s Adani Group include the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake, the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota, and the Colombo International Airport in Ratmalana.
Minister Fernando expressed optimism about this collaboration, emphasising the transformative potential it holds for Sri Lanka’s tourism and aviation sector.
“Indian companies are going to take over three of our major airports, which is going to be a phenomenal decision for us,” he said, adding it was necessary to facilitate the growing number of travellers.
With India being the single biggest source market for tourism, Minister Fernando outlined his ambitious focus on tapping into the vast potential of the Indian market.
He underscored the strategic importance of strengthening partnerships with Indian companies to drive tourism growth and economic development in Sri Lanka.
In addition to airport management, Minister Fernando highlighted initiatives to enhance domestic transportation infrastructure, including the operation of a domestic airline and ferry services.
“We spoke with an Indian company to operate a helicopter in Sri Lanka to do domestic transportation. These efforts aim to improve connectivity within Sri Lanka and facilitate seamless travel experiences for tourists and locals alike,” he added.
Sri Lanka is targeting 2.3 million arrivals in 2024 and is quite hopeful of reaching the target.
“By 2030, we hope to attract four to five million visitors. We have 60 cruisers that have been booked to dock in Sri Lanka. This is why we have to go for massive development projects,” Minister Fernando elaborated, underscoring the Government’s ambitious goals for tourism growth over the coming years.
Fernando also underscored the importance of tapping into India’s burgeoning middle-income market, expressing confidence that attracting even a modest percentage of India’s 50 million tourists would yield significant dividends for Sri Lanka’s tourism sector.
Furthermore, he revealed plans to launch 360 degrees, a global marketing blitz aimed at positioning Sri Lanka as a premier tourist destination.
“We are going to have tram branding and London underground branding. I am quite hopeful Sri Lanka tourism will be right up there,” he expressed with optimism.
He also shared the exciting news of collaborating with a top Indian cricketer to endorse Sri Lanka through a commercial campaign, leveraging the player’s popularity to boost tourism awareness in India.
Encouraging investment in the country’s burgeoning tourism sector, Minister Fernando highlighted the country’s affordability and potential for lucrative returns.

OSL take:
The historical bilateral ties between Sri Lanka and India have seen a further boost in the past few years. Sri Lanka and India have shown strong ties in business, trade and tourism industries and have now expanded to other areas as well. India is also one of Sri Lanka’s key development partners with many engagements in the country’s development sector. With Sri Lanka developing as an emerging business destination in the South Asian region, there’s a clear expansion in the country’s development sector covering all economic sectors. Since India is one of the key development partners of Sri Lanka, many Indian businesses/investors have shown interest in participating in Sri Lanka’s development work. Indian businesses have also expressed interest in exploring the opportunities in investing in state owned enterprises (SOEs) that are being restructured. It is in such a backdrop that a Sri Lankan Minister has said that an Indian company was looking at managing three airports in Sri Lanka. Given the expanding opportunities in Sri Lanka and the growing business potential in the country, Indian businesses/investors could confidently explore the opportunities in Sri Lanka. Indian businesses could also look at forming partnerships or joint ventures with local businesses with the aim of further expansion.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20240226/Z_3

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