Hotel Association urges extended moratorium on loans | Daily News


 

Coronavirus:

Hotel Association urges extended moratorium on loans

The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka urges the government to extend the moratoriums on all loans and interest granted by financial institutions for the tourism industry after the Easter Sunday attacks by one year as all expectations of recovery has been adversely affected by the outbreak ofNovel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), resulting in large scale cancellation of bookings from China and concerns and reluctance to travel by visitors from other markets. “Our priority at this time is to safeguard livelihoods of 500,000 staff and nearly two million dependents,” the Association said.

“As the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Coronavirus a global emergency, we have observed a sharp increase in cancellation of airlines operating to China and bringing about a fear among visitors to avoid airports, travel and other public places.

“As the infected number and deaths have already surpassed the outbreak of the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), experts believe it will take at least 6 – 9 months for the world travel industry to recover from this issue.

“Chinese tourism market is the second largest to Sri Lanka and it accounts for 10 per cent of total arrivals and as with all other markets, it was gradually recovering after the April attacks targeting churches and hotels. The industry is working closely with the government and the tourism authority to expedite the launch of the global tourism marketing campaign. The industry is also looking into the possibility of diverting visitors to Sri Lanka from other leading destinations in Asia that are experiencing cancellations due to visitor reluctance to travel to those countries as the virus spreads.

“So far, Sri Lanka has only one affected visitor and she, too, has recovered well according to medical sources,” the Association said.

The THASL expresses its great appreciation to the government, particularly the Health Ministry, all staff at the airport, the national carrier and the doctors and health professionals at the Colombo Infectious Diseases Health facility for their dedicated service in addressing this virus speedily and taking necessary steps to prevent the spread of the disease.

“Our nation, on this occasion, as in the past, has amply demonstrated its resilience and its capacity to face challenges, however daunting, with strength and confidence. The THASL stands ready to make its own contribution to the national effort at this critical time,” it said.

 


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