Establish a targeted programme to develop tourism industry - President | Daily News

Establish a targeted programme to develop tourism industry - President

With aim to earn US10 billion from industry by 2025

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed the relevant officials to establish a targeted programme to develop the tourism industry in Sri Lanka.

The aim is to earn US10 billion from the tourism industry by 2025.

President Rajapaksa who met officials from the Tourism and Civil Aviation Ministry yesterday stressed that tourism would be one of the main components towards a fast economic growth in the country.

“We need experienced and capable people to develop the industry. Each step taken by them should bring in good results,” the President said.

“I am determined to take firm decisions without any fear at the opportune time for the wellbeing of the people and the country. I also expect that the officials will act to bring positive results which would benefit the country and the people,” the President said.

President Rajapaksa held extensive discussions with relevant officials by identifying the problems faced by the sector and also the measures and decisions that need to be taken to promote tourism in the country.

President Rajapaksa also stressed the need for improving facilities for tourists visiting the country. He also spoke about the importance of developing tourist attractions and also raising awareness on them both nationally and internationally.

The President also mentioned the importance of developing Sri Lanka as an emerging medical tourism destination based on its traditional medicine practices. Especially, Sri Lankan tea and surfing are also emerging as a popular experience for travellers which have to be given priority at the promotion,” he added.

“The shopping centres must also operate identifying the needs of the tourists. A proper mechanism should be introduced to increase the number of tourists’ arrivals in the coming years,” the President said.

Therefore, the President advised tourism officials to implement a programme to improve Sri Lanka’s reputation abroad by building a destination brand image via Sri Lankan Ambassadors in other countries.

SriLankan Airlines will be developed as a qualitative airline while all other institutions under the purview of the Tourist Board should work in unison identifying each other contribution to develop the tourism.

The meeting has also emphasized the importance of commencing direct flights to European countries. Meanwhile, the Tourist Police will also be revived with a new DIG being appointed to head it.

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