(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –India will fully support the development of Sri Lanka’s tourism and aviation sector, Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay has affirmed during a discussion between the envoy and the Minister of Sports Namal Rajapaksa and Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga Wednesday.
During the discussion held at the VIP lounge at the Katunayake Bandaranaike International Airport before the Sri Lankan delegation’s departure to the Kushinagar yesterday, Minister Prasanna Ranatunga pointed out that India is one of the leading source of tourist traffic to Sri Lanka.
The Minister said that the majority of the people in the country have been vaccinated against Covid and the government is taking steps to provide Covid vaccine to school children as well. He said that he expects an increase in the number of Indian tourists visiting Sri Lanka in the future.
Ranatunga said much attention has been paid to the potential for boosting tourism between the two countries, especially on the religious ties between India and Sri Lanka.
He noted that Sri Lankan Buddhists visit Dambadiva on pilgrimages while Indian devotees mostly come to Sri Lanka to visit Ramayana sites. Taking this situation into consideration, Minister Prasanna Ranatunga suggested that a joint program should be implemented between the two countries to promote religious, cultural and archeological tours.
The Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka agreed and said that attention has already been paid in this regard.
They also discussed the expansion of air services between the two countries and the resumption of flights from Jaffna to Chennai.
Minister Namal Rajapaksa said that the Government of Sri Lanka commends India’s support for socio-economic development in Sri Lanka.