Sri Lanka focuses on tourism industry with Covid 19 vaccination priority given to the sector
Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has approved the partial reopening of hotels and restaurants and has also placed the tourism sector under a priority Covid 19 vaccination programme in order to boost the country’s tourism industry.
Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has reportedly written to the country’s Health Minister Pavithra Devi Wanniarachchi informing of the President’s decision and subsequent discussions with her as a follow-up.
All restaurants and hotels registered with the Sri Lanka Tourism Development (SLTDA) have been permitted to re-commence operations.
Ranatunga has further been quoted as saying that the vaccination of persons engaged in the tourism industry will commence from 15 July through the District Medical Officer’s office.
According to the Minister, district-by-district vaccinations will include all persons involved in tourism, including hotel staff, jeep drivers in national parks under the Department of Wildlife Conservation and safari parks and zoological gardens under the Department of Zoological Gardens; staff in tourist sites including botanical gardens and cultural sites, tours guides, tourist drivers, SLTDA-registered shops opens to tourists, water sport centres, whale watching etc.
“This would support rebuilding confidence in the global traveller that Sri Lanka is a safe destination, and we are also taking steps to vaccinate the front-line staff of all tourism related establishments,” Ranatunga has added.
Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the country when the global Covid 19 pandemic brought about global travel restrictions. However, the country’s tourism industry is once again on the path to recovery after re-opening Sri Lanka’s borders early this year. Sri Lankan authorities are engaged in an aggressive promotional campaign to boost the industry. Sri Lanka has been listed as a must visit destination by several leading global travel publications and the country’s airports have also received global safety and hygiene certifications making the island an attractive travel destination post Covid. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.
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