Written by Amani Nilar
18 Aug, 2021 | 2:55 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st): Enhanced regional cooperation could lead to Sri Lanka being developed as a globally acclaimed leisure destination and can revitalize the domestic tourism industry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says.
During a virtual interactive session with the Member States of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) to enhance tourism cooperation, State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya stressed that the Government of Sri Lanka has demonstrated its unwavering dedication and sheer commitment consistently though a worrying economic and social impact has been left by waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The discussion, which was attended by tourism industry experts representing the public and private sector from twenty-seven CICA Member States, focused on the importance and benefits of international collective efforts and joint endeavors to build a more resilient and sustainable tourism sector in the post-pandemic era.
State Minister Tharaka Balasuriya further stated that the Government of Sri Lanka was working with all the international organizations and friendly Governments including the CICA Member States to defeat the pandemic and uphold the economic and social development aspirations of our peoples, to which the revival of the tourism industry will play a key role.
Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando in her keynote speech highlighted that Sri Lanka has all the attributes to position itself as a perfect post-pandemic travel destination with its wide-open spaces and a multitude of nature-based experiences.
Past President of the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) Mahen Kariyawasan, President of the Association for Small & Medium Enterprises in Tourism (ASMET) Rohan Abeywickrema and President of the Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) Sanath Ukwatte also addressed the session.
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