(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The government has not given up on its initial plans to attract seven million tourists to Sri Lanka by 2025 and generate US$ 10 billion in revenue,Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said yesterday.
He said the government was confident of overcoming the existing challenges and uplift the tourism industry to a better position than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The minister explained that Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to successfully control the COVID -19 virus and with the opening of the airport in the future as per the advice of the health sector, a large number of tourists will be attracted to the country.
The minister was speaking as the chief guest at the World Tourism Day celebrations held at the Kandy City Center in Kandy yesterday.
Minister Ranatunga said the industry was dealt another blow in the form of COVID-19 at a time when it was looking to regain lost glory following the Easter Sunday attacks.
The Minister said that he had submitted a memorandum to the Cabinet to provide relief to the people involved in the industry and that some of its contents had been fulfilled and other measures were under discussion.
The Tourism Ministry and the Central Provincial Council organized the World Tourism Day celebrations at the Kandy City Center under the auspices of the Central Provincial Industries Ministry to coincide with the exhibition featuring the creations of small and medium scale industrialists from the Kandy, Matale and Nuwara Eliya districts.
The theme of this year’s festival, which coincides with World Tourism Day, is ‘Tourism and Rural Development’.