Tourism sector yet to receive Government relief

Tourism sector yet to receive Government relief

Written by Staff Writer

04 Jun, 2019 | 8:54 pm

Colombo (News1st) – The terror attacks that shook the country to its core in April had had an adverse impact on many fields. Soon after the terror attacks, numerous countries issued travel advisories warning their citizens of traveling to Sri Lanka. The tourism industry which the country depends on as a key foreign income generator took a massive hit because of it.

Even though Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe claims that we have defeated ISIS in the country within a month, a majority of the travel advisories issues on Sri Lanka remain in place.  Countries like India, UK, Australia, France, the United States of America, Netherlands, Canada, Japan, Italy, Sweden, Singapore, Denmark, South Korea, Austria, Czech Republic, Belgium, Slovakia, and United Arab Emirates have informed tourists to avoid non-essential travel to Sri Lanka. While Russia from where a considerable amount of tourists arrive in the country, still has a sever travel advisory on Sri Lanka.

In light of the current situation, the Minister of Finance and the Central Bank constantly made announcements about an introduction of a relief package, as a solution to the set back created due to the April 21st attacks. Amongst the range of reliefs provided, a moratorium was introduced for tourism sector institutions and individuals in the trade.

The moratorium which was introduced under Central Bank will be in effect until 31st March 2020 for both capital and interest payments granted to the tourism sector as of 18th April 2019. However, those who are in the tourism industry say that the moratorium is yet to be implemented. When inquired, the Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said the relevant circulars have been issued to the banks and financial institutions. The Governor also added that it was only two weeks ago he met with the heads of Banks and Financial Institutions.

However, Chandana Amaradasa, Chairman of Island Leisure speaking to News1st stated that banks have not been given any guideline on how to facilitate these commitments made by the Government.

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