Sri Lanka to enter into a bilateral pact with Netherlands to start direct flights.
Daily FT: In a potential boost to tourism, trade and investments, the Cabinet green light has been granted to enter into a bilateral aviation pact with the Netherlands, potentially leading to initiating direct flights between the two countries.
Ports, Shipping and Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva this week furnished a resolution to the Cabinet of Ministers to sign a bilateral aviation agreement with the government of the Netherlands.
“This agreement will facilitate Sri Lanka and the Netherlands to commence direct flights. It would be a boost for tourism, trade as well as investments between the two nations,” Cabinet Spokesperson and Transport, Highways and Mass Media Minister Bandula Gunawardana told reporters in Colombo.
Although the diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the Kingdom of Netherlands were inaugurated back in 1951, no direct flights operate between the two nations.
The Netherlands remains as one of the key source markets for Sri Lanka tourism as well as for Sri Lankan exports in the European Union (EU).
In the first nine months of the year, the Netherlands remained as the 14th largest source market for Sri Lanka tourism. In terms of exports, the Netherlands is among the top five markets for Sri Lankan exports in the EU.
The number of international airlines operating flights to Sri Lanka is on the rise indicating an increase in foreign travellers to the country. Therefore the increase in foreign travellers visiting Sri Lanka shows a growth in the tourism industry as well as an expansion in business activities due to business travellers also visiting the country. All these combined are indicative of the overall expansion in Sri Lanka’s economic activities including the tourism industry. While Sri Lanka is working towards becoming a business destination in the South Asian region, the country has also received exposure in the international media as a must visit tourist destination and one of the top island destinations. The growth and business potential in Sri Lanka has resulted in the expansion of opportunities in the country’s tourism industry, especially in the leisure and hospitality sectors. With local authorities continuing to explore new tourism concepts to be promoted, foreign leisure and hospitality brands have expressed interest in entering Sri Lanka. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore the growing opportunities in Sri Lanka, especially in the leisure and hospitality sectors.
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