The government is in the process of formulating short term and long term plans to rebuild the tourism industry which has taken a major blow due to the Coronavirus pandemic, said Minister of Industrial Export, Investment Promotion and Civil Aviation, Prasanna Ranatunga.
He pointed out that once the spread of the Coronavirus is contained, the government will implement the proposed plans.
The tourism industry globally has suffered a blow due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy is formidable. Sri Lanka too is facing the same fate. He said that the governmentâ€™s main focus right now is to stop the spread of the Coronavirus and once they have managed to contain it, the government would implement its plan to uplift the countryâ€™s economy. The tourism industry too will have special programs launched in order to re-build it.
Minister Ranatunga said that after the Easter Sunday attack on April 21st the tourism industry suffered a major setback. However, after the current government came into power, many measures were taken to uplift the tourism industry. Among them was the decision to extend the visa freedom for 48 countries, suspend the tourism tax and grant concessions to tourist hotel and vehicle owners.
Since the current government took over, there was a gradual increase in the tourist arrivals and the tourism industry was making a recovery. However, with the spread of the Coronavirus globally, the tourism industry was affected again.
Therefore, Minister Ranatunga said that the government has understood the current crisis faced by the people and as a relief measure for the people most affected by this crisis, the government is granting Rs. 5000 to help them weather this crisis. He added that similarly, the government has planned short term and long term mechanisms for the upliftment of the tourism sector as well.