The President continues his inspection tours: SLTDA visit
Sri Lanka can become Asia’s destination for foreign tourists, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said today.
The President stressed that barriers must be removed and plans must be made to attract tourists through global promotional programs.
Over 260,000 tourists arrived in the country in the first quarter of the year. That’s more than all of last year’s tourist arrivals. The government plans to reach the target of 1.3 million tourists by the end of the year. The President stressed that all sectors of the tourism industry should be ready to achieve this goal.
The President made the remarks during an inspection visit to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority in Colombo this morning (24).
The Tourism Board was established in 1966 for rapid economic development through the systematic and streamlined development of the tourism industry and became the Tourism Development Authority of Sri Lanka in 2005.
The Tourism Development Authority is empowered to oversee all matters relating to the tourism industry, including tourist arrivals, planning of resorts and accommodation facilities, registration and classification of services tourist. including tourist hotels and travel agencies, and licensing.
The President inspected the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, the Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management and the Convention Bureau and commended the staff for their commitment to promoting the tourism industry.
The government aims to raise $10 billion a year from the tourism industry. The Easter Sunday attack was a blow to the tourism industry. He was further devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The government has taken all necessary measures for the rapid development of infrastructure in the tourism sector.
Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said the tourism industry is thriving again thanks to the success of the vaccination campaign.
There are a large number of local and foreign employment opportunities associated with the tourism sector. The President said that training opportunities in this sector should be expanded accordingly. President Rajapaksa pointed out that a lot of employment opportunities could be created by planning to provide practical training and theoretical knowledge to young people with the help of the hotel system spread across the country.
Various forms of planned propaganda are carried out to destroy the tourism industry. Even in such a context, tourist arrivals remain high. Particular attention should be paid to the safety of tourists. The President said it is the responsibility of the Tourism Development Authority to provide an attractive offer service with a high level of hospitality from arrival to return to their respective countries.
The president also instructed to take steps to increase the number of flights to Sri Lanka in consultation with the airlines.
Development of infrastructure needed to maintain Yala, Kumana, Minneriya and other wildlife parks and coastal areas as tourist attractions was also discussed.
Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, Senior Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Ministry Secretary S. Hettiarachchi, Tourism Development Authority Chairman Kimarli Fernando and several others attended the occasion. (NewsWire)