The Minister said that this special promotion program should be implemented from August 1. Attention was also drawn at length to the strategic plans required to implement them as relief packages that could be provided to tourist hotels, airlines and tour operators.
He said that the government hopes to complete the vaccination against Covid in Sri Lanka by September and the government hopes to provide Covid vaccines to 60% of the total population. The Minister said a systematic program needs to be introduced to attract tourists back to the country. “What is needed is a practical program and not a theoretical one.” Therefore, the
Minister requested hotels, airlines and tourism organizers to “work out results and not theory”. Twenty one countries have banned travel to Sri Lanka due to the Covid situation.
The Minister said that they were working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to remove restrictions on the number of tourists visiting Sri Lanka and he hoped to hold discussions with Norway, Bahrain, Nepal, Japan, France, Australia, New Zealand, Qatar and Vietnam through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In addition, the Minister instructed the Tourism Promotion Bureau to implement worldwide promotional programs to attract tourists to Sri Lanka.
Accordingly, it was decided to launch new promotional programs in Russia and the Eastern European region from next month.
Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism S. Hettiarachchi, Chairperson of the Tourism Development Authority Kimarli Fernando, Director General Dhammika Wijesinghe, representatives of airlines, tourist hotel owners’ associations and representatives of tourism organizations also participated in the discussion.