The much awaited and long overdue Integrated Tourism Digital Plan (ITDP) presented by Minister of Tourism Development, Wild Life and Christian Cultural Affairs, John Amaratunga, has finally received the Cabinet approval yesterday.Under this program around Rs. 350 million would be invested for the development of tourism industry and improvement of Global Security Image.
The Digital Plan would be conducted under Public Private Partnership basis until end of 2020. An official from the Ministry of Tourism said that this investment would be mainly focusing on five high tourism arrival markets. â€œThese markets are China, India, United Kingdom, Germany and France which are among the top arrivals for Sri Lanka,â€ he said.
In addition part of â€˜So Lankanâ€™ campaign promotions too would be under this budget which is channeled through the Tourism CESS Fund.The Government has identified tourism as a key driver to the economy and plans are also underway to increase the current US$ 3.5 billion annual revenue to US$ 7 billion by the end of 2020.
The revenue target for 2019 end would be US$ 4 billion, and at the end of the first quarter US$ 1.39 billion revenue was achieved. Tourist arrivals also increased by 4.7% to reach 244,328 arrivals during this quarter.Another objective under this program is to increase average spending of Tourists per day to US$ 210 and increase the employment of the tourism industry to reach 600,000 by the end of 2020.
Another area that would be covered under this ITDP would be to increase security for tourists traveling to Sri Lanka and coordinate more joint synergies among airlines flying to Sri Lanka. Measures would also be in place to provide â€˜better experiencesâ€™ for tourists.