Sri Lanka looking at reopening tourism industry for foreigners from August
Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has stressed the importance of reviving the tourism industry fast with adequate safeguards, whilst the government of Sri Lanka explored the possibility of reopening the Bandaranaike International Airport for tourist arrivals from 1 August.
Issues facing the tourism industry as well as measures to be taken for a quick revival of the sector were discussed recently during a meeting of the Task Force Committee entrusted with Covid 19 control met under the patronage of President Rajapaksa.
The Task Force had recommended to the President to reopen airports for foreign tourists from 1 August as the country is gradually returning to normalcy.
The Committee had pointed out that it is a remarkable achievement that not a single infected person was reported from the community after 30 April.
President Rajapaksa has highlighted the need to follow health guidelines issued by international and local health experts in the event of opening the country for tourists.
There is a possibility to be at the forefront of the revival of the tourism industry, provided a well-planned strategy is in place and future steps should be taken under the guidance of tourism and health professionals on a priority basis, the President has said.
Under the first phase, it was decided to open hotels and restaurants registered under the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) for in-house dining.
Based on its progress steps will be taken to gradually open unregistered eateries under the assistance and supervision of the Army and Public Health Officers.
“In order to attract tourists, it is necessary to have a proper understanding of their preferences. Some prefer the beach while some enjoy seeing archaeological sites and wildlife. Some tourists are interested in scenic beauty. Tourist promotion activities should be planned accordingly,” President Rajapaksa has added.
Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the country until the Covid 19 global pandemic took place. The country’s tourism industry has been resilient to domestic as well as external shocks through the years. The expansion of the industry to new sectors like medical and sports tourism, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has shown signs of returning to normalcy fast. This would result in the expansion of business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/20200608/Z_1|