SL mulling new avenues to attract high spending tourists

SL mulling new avenues to attract high spending tourists

SL mulling new avenues to attract high spending tourists

Written by Staff Writer

07 May, 2020 | 10:12 am

COLOMBO (News1st): Sri Lanka is mulling the issuance of globally recognized certificates to attract high-spending tourists, as the lucrative industry remains tanked due to the coronavirus.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, during a meeting with the country’s economic revival task force, on Wednesday, said opportunities are open to attract tourists from countries where the coronavirus has subdued.

“Apparel and tourism sectors which make a huge contribution to the national economy should be revitalized to suit the changing situations,” the President was quoted in a statement issued by his office.

Sri Lanka shut its doors for tourist arrivals on March 16, due to the spread of the coronavirus, and recorded a paltry 70,000 arrivals in that month, affecting tourist businesses in the South Asian island.

Accordingly, the President had said that the local hotel industry could be saved from collapsing by promoting domestic tourism and attracting long-term travellers to the country.

Rajapaksa had said that “medical tourism can be promoted by highlighting the capabilities of the indigenous medical system which was used for the treatment of the virus-infected people”.

He had also instructed ministry secretaries to seek foreign investments instead of loans while pointing out the possibility of drawing foreign investors to the Port City and the Industrial Zone in Hambantota.

Sri Lanka, hit by an economic crisis, has introduced measures such as import restrictions and tightening foreign exchange controls, to prevent foreign exchange outflows.

On similar lines, President Rajapaksa had discussed expanding educational facilities in the country, citing an “immense outflow of foreign exchange income” as Sri Lankan students have gone overseas for studies.

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