Written by Staff Writer
09 Jun, 2020 | 6:01 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st): As curfew restrictions ease and life returns to a new normal, the tourism industry has launched several initiatives to expedite a speedy recovery.
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc in economies across the globe including the tourism industry.
International tourism is set to fall by 70% this year, marking the sector’s biggest slump since records began in the 1950s.
Here in Sri Lanka, the tourism industry has already witnessed a 45% decline in tourist arrivals, during the first four months of 2020.
“The situation is very bad because we have zero tourists at the moment,”
President of Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) Mahen Kariyawasam said.
“I think we will have an 80% drop this year. Most of our companies are finding it difficult to pay the salaries,” President of Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators added.
“We know the government is in a difficult position for cash, what we are asking is, whether they can negotiate for us a credit line, maybe with a funding agency, like the Asian Development Bank or the World Bank,” he added.
In a bid to strengthen the industry’s rebound strategy, the travel trade has united to create ” One industry, One voice”
SLAITO Committee member Paddy Paul said these common issues need to be addressed in one voice.
“If we get our act together and have our operations as of the 1st of August, and if we can publicize it to the world, I think people will start returning to Sri Lanka,” the committee member added.
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