Govt to create travel corridor to uplift tourism | Daily News


Govt to create travel corridor to uplift tourism

As a proactive measure to boost tourism, the government is in the preliminary stages of creating a travel corridor with another country to boost tourism. A travel corridor will create an easier framework for travel between the two countries thus encouraging tourism. Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Kimarli Fernando told a travel industry webinar on June 11.

Fernando also stated that when Sri Lanka is to open on August 1, there would be no quarantine period for tourists. The tourists would undergo multiple PCR tests and systems have been implemented at all relevant institutions. Tourists will soon be able to obtain long term visas facilitating multiple stays in Sri Lanka.

The SLTDA and government lobbied the Airline industry to maintain daily flights into Sri Lanka. She said “this is going to be key. We spoke to the airlines and all of them agreed to continue their direct flights.”

Ratmalana International Airport is also being considered to handle international arrivals. The government is currently in the process of selecting an international auditing firm to partner with to create safety certification. The proposed certification is in line with international practice.

Fernando expected initial demand to be from Sri Lankans residing as expatriate citizens in foreign countries. She said, “they are already contacting us to come back home.”

Fernando cited the government’s effective response to the COVID-19 crisis. A 90-page document has been circulated to the industry with guidelines on safety.

The SLTDA is currently working with Sri Lankan Airlines on a joint campaign highlighting Sri Lanka as a safe destination to travel to.

The Global Marketing campaign for Sri Lanka has been approved by the cabinet and the plan covers an entire 5-year period. Fernando said that the current timing was not right for a global campaign.

The government has offered loans to establishments to meet wage expenditure on a concessional basis to tourist board registered establishments. The government has further extended payment periods on utility bills and provided extensions on loan facilities. Fernando highlighted the importance of promoting wellness tourism in Sri Lanka.

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