Sri Lanka Tourism Minister discloses a five-year plan to boost the Covid-hit tourism industry

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga says that a five year plan will be implemented to uplift the tourism industry affected by the Covid epidemic.

The Minister made this disclosure speaking at a meeting with Ukrainian tourism organizers at the Hilton Hotel in Ukraine on the sidelines of a tourism promotion program jointly implemented by the Tourism Development Authority and the Tourism Promotion Bureau.The Minister said the plan implemented by the government to uplift the tourism industry, aims to build the tourism industry in the next five years in the face of the epidemic and after the epidemic.

The Minister appreciated Ukraine’s support for the Sri Lanka Tourism pilot project, which was launched during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Minister said that 2,258 tourists from Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan had arrived in Sri Lanka through this pilot project implemented under the Tourism Bubble System and of those arrived only nine tourists have been diagnosed with coronavirus and left the country after receiving treatment.

The Minister also explained how Sri Lanka had resumed its tourism industry in the midst of the epidemic, following the guidelines and advice of the World Health Organization (WHO) and he methods used in countries that have resumed tourism.

The government hopes to develop the tourism industry in a manner that does not infect the public from tourists or tourists from the public, the Minister told the Ukrainian tourism organizers. Accordingly, the Government of Sri Lanka was able to provide both doses of the vaccine to over ten million people, he added.

Sri Lanka can be described as a country that prioritizes the health and well-being of its people compared to other countries in the region, Minister Ranatunga said recalling that many countries had introduced Sri Lankans as a humble and selfless nation through assisting foreign sailors who were facing health problems in Sri Lankan waters under the coronavirus pandemic situation.

The Minister further said that the system implemented for tourists visiting Sri Lanka during the Covid epidemic will also provide immediate health assistance to tourists in need of health advice.

Explaining at length the health care systems in place in the country, the Minister said that Sri Lanka as a country is ready to welcome tourists.

Speaking at the event, Ms. Mariana Oleskiu of the Ukrainian State Agency said that Sri Lanka was receiving assistance from Ukraine to boost Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.

The event was attended by about 150 travel organizers from Ukraine.

State Minister of External Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya, Chairman of the Tourism Development Authority Kimarli Fernando, Deputy Chairman of the Airport and Aviation Company Rajiv Sooriyarachchi, Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Airports and Export Processing Zones Sunil Gunawardena were also present.

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