Sri Lanka Tourism must utilize CESS more productively - Arundika | Daily News


 

Sri Lanka Tourism must utilize CESS more productively - Arundika

State Minister of Tourism Promotion Arundika Fernando after assuming duties. Picture by Sudath Malaweera
State Minister of Tourism Promotion Arundika Fernando after assuming duties. Picture by Sudath Malaweera

Sri Lanka Tourism must utilize the CESS fund more productively and this would be a key area of focus, new State Minister of Tourism Promotion, Arundika Fernando said.

He said that each year through embarkation tax, hotel levies and other forms several billions are added to tourism, these are not properly used and once RS. 1.5 billion had been sent back to the treasury.

This should not happen and 70% of this should be used for tourism promotions. The Minister also said that he was very disappointed in the manner in which the promotion budget was spent on promotions in London. “They were not properly focused and not productive.” The much needed visibility was not there for the London Taxi and Tube (Rail) station promotions and this was a waste of money. “I am also not happy with the CNN marketing campaign as I did not see a good coverage from it and I like to see a more focused and professional destination marketing campaigns in the future.”

Fernando said that one of the worst incidents that dampened the Tourism industry was the Easter Sunday blasts that could have been avoided. The much promised debt moratorium with banks were only confined to words and not action by the previous government. “We want to reactivate this system and will talk again with the banks and applicants and have a relook at this process.”

Sri Lankan Tourism should also provide more assistance and encouragement for environmental and eco-friendly related tourism investment.

 


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