The Minister of Tourism, Prasanna Ranatunga pointed out that after the COVID situation, a large number of tourists of the world have focused their attention on mental and physical health. “Hence Sri Lanka too focused more space allocating for the Wellness Tourism campaign and the government is engaged in an endeavour to develop it further.”
The Minister mentioned this at a meeting of ministers held in conjunction with the International French Tourism Exhibition being held currently in Paris, France. A group of people including the Tourism State Secretary of France Jean Battiste Lemoyne, Minister of Tourism of Egypt Khaled el Anany, Minister of Tourism of Greece Vassilis Kikilias, Minister of Tourism of Jordan Nayef Hamidi Mohomad Al-Fayez, Minister of Tourism of the Dominican Republic David Collado, and Representative of the Minister of Tourism of the state of Mauritius, Lovis Steven participated in this meeting.
The Minister who pointed out at this meeting that Sri Lanka is becoming a country safe from COVID due to the far-sighted, prudent procedures of the current government led by the President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa also said that if tourism collapsed in the world due to the COVID pandemic is to be rebuilt all countries engaged in tourism should join together and work together as one.
As a result, of the COVID pandemic a loss of USD 1.3 trillion and USD 2 trillion from the direct tourism Gross National Product of export income in the world, has been caused and more than 100 million jobs are at risk in the field of tourism worldwide.
Minister pointed out that its impact goes beyond the field of tourism and also said that the massive collapse in the arrival of tourists resulted in world trade dropping by 40%.
Ranatunga explained the post-COVID preparations in Sri Lanka and said that a majority of the overall population of Sri Lanka amounting to 12 million have been vaccinated. The Minister said further that since Sri Lanka has become a COVID-safe country by now, he requests all countries of the world not to be fearful and send tourists to Sri Lanka.
With the country being reopened for tourists since last December the number of tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka was 40,365, Ranatunga said. He also mentioned that there were only 323 COVID infected tourists among them and that with COVID vaccinations being carried out, the country is now totally open for tourists by now.