Sri Lankan government appoints task force to transform tourism industry into US$ 10 billion sector
The government of Sri Lanka has reportedly appointed a seven member top level task force comprising prominent state sector stakeholders in order to transform Sri Lanka tourism into a US$ 10 billion industry by 2030.
The seven-member task force, appointed by Sri Lanka Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, is headed by Tourism Ministry Secretary Marina Mohamed, while other members include Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Director General Chandani Werapitiya, SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ashok Pathirage, Airport and Aviation Services Ltd. (AASL) Chairman G.A. Chandrasiri, Tourism Ministry Senior Additional Secretary (Development) Waruna Samaradiwakara and Tourism Ministry Additional Secretary (Administration) Deepa Sannasooriya.
The Minister has told the Daily FT that the task force was expected to identify problems faced by the tourism industry and offer solutions and implementation guidance on the future development of the sector.
Given the importance of the sector for the development of the economy, Ranatunga had also instructed the task force to submit its recommendations within two weeks.
In addition, the Minister has directed the task force to identify new areas to develop tourism apart from traditional tourist attractions.
“The task force has been instructed to submit proposals and programs to promote tourism based on areas such as amusement parks, religious, cultural and national heritage, adventure sports, agriculture and forestry tourism, indigenous Ayurveda and so on,” the Minister has said.
Ranatunga has further stated that he intended to implement a strategic marketing program to promote Sri Lanka tourism within a wide range of countries.
The ministry has focused its attention on setting up tourist service centres, sanitary facilities, restaurants and all other essential amenities, in line with international standards, along the road network connecting major tourist hotspots.
Given the continuous growth recorded by Sri Lanka’s tourism industry and the potential for further growth in the industry, the country’s tourism authorities are keen on looking at methods to formulate a target orientated plan. Once the plan is in place, the business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry would further expand. Therefore Sri Lanka’s tourism industry would become a hotspot for business opportunities. Sri Lanka continues to be listed as a must visit destination by globally renowned travel publications.
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