The government is considering extending the relief for loans and leasing facilities provided to those in the tourism industry affected by the epidemic until the end of this year.
Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga says that discussions are underway with the relevant authorities in this regard.
The government has been providing loans and leasing concessions to those affected by Covid-19 virus within the tourism sector since last March. It was previously scheduled to end on the 31st of this month.
Minister Ranatunga states, although the country has been reopened to tourists since last January, the government has decided to extend this concession as the tourism sector has not fully recovered yet. Accordingly, the government has been requested to extend it till December 31 this year.
He enunciated this during a meeting with stakeholders within the tourism sector, which was held to bring forth the steps taken to implement an integrated global communication campaign to promote Sri Lankan tourism. Meeting was held at the Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management’s auditorium last Friday (5).
Since the reopening of the country on January 21, more than 5,000 tourists have visited Sri Lanka. However, countries like China, India, Germany and the United Kingdom, which are frequent visitors to Sri Lanka, have not yet given the permission to their citizens to visit Sri Lanka. The Minister highlighted that this situation has resulted negatively toward the Sri Lankan tourism industry.
A sum of $ 59 billion has been allocated for the next five years of the integrated global communication campaign. Short-term, medium- and long-term programs have been organized under this. Several special promotional programs are expected to be launched this year aiming toward China, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, Russia and the Middle East. Another program is being implemented targeting countries such as the United States and Japan.
The government has already agreed to inoculate those involved in the tourism sector within the next few weeks.
Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism Waruna Samaradiwakara, Chairman of Tourism Development Authority, Kimali Fernando and Director General Dhammika Wijeratne were present at this occasion