The existing relief was to expire on September 30. The latest extension is by nine months as opposed to the previous move of six months.
On the instructions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa took steps to extend this relief package aimed at strengthening the industry to meet the challenges faced by businesses and individuals engaged in the tourism sector due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Minister said that further extension of the relief package reflects the Government’s real commitment to protect people engaged in the tourism industry battered largely by the pandemic.
Tourism is gradually returning back to normal in the country while the industry has recommenced in most other countries following post COVID recovery strategies.
There had been around 45,000 tourist arrivals since the re-opening of borders. We can expect a steady progress in tourism arrivals in the next three months and it is expected that daily arrivals will reach 5,000 during the next year.
The necessary directive for extension of the concession package had been issued to licensed commercial banks by the Central Bank last week. The COVID pandemic-specific moratorium was first initiated in August last year.