‘Tourist inflows show country is recovering from pandemic-hit economic crisis’ | Daily News

‘Tourist inflows show country is recovering from pandemic-hit economic crisis’

Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga stated that the Government has taken all possible steps to save the country from the economic crisis that arose with the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that a short-term, medium-term and long-term programmes have been implemented for this purpose. The Government has analyzed the situation and therefore it is possible to overcome the adverse period.

Minister Ranatunga further stated that regaining the country from the current financial crisis is not a challenge for the leaders who developed the country after the war.

The Tourism Minister made these remarks at a discussion held in Minuwangoda yesterday (13) to brief the Minuwangoda Local Government representatives on the current situation in the country.

Furthermore, Minister Ranatunga said that the tourism industry is gradually recovering, and he pointed out that during the last 12 days of February, 39,621 tourists have visited the country. “The number of tourists who arrived in the country from January 1 to February 12 this year was 121,948. Most of these tourists have come to Sri Lanka from the Russian Federation and the number is 18,960. The number of tourists who arrived in the country at the end of last year was 194,495. Looking at these statistics, it is clear that the tourism industry in our country is gradually recovering,” he highlighted.

He also mentioned that most of the tourists coming to Sri Lanka are from Europe. Of 82,327 tourists who arrived in the country in January, 56,605 were from European countries. A total of 19,531 tourists arrived from Asia and the Pacific. In addition, 2,080 tourists have arrived from the Middle East, 3,691 from the Americas and 420 from Africa.

The tourism and aviation industry the world over has been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and the industry is now recovering. “We paid particular attention to the tourism and aviation sectors in our country, which collapsed due to the pandemic. In the field of aviation, many airlines that arrived in the country before Sri Lanka faced the pandemic have now resumed flights to our country. International airlines that have never been to our country are planning to start direct flights to Sri Lanka. We will take the necessary steps for that in the future,” he added.

“Opposition economists try to blame the current Government for the prevailing economic crisis in the country, but it is crystal clear that the pandemic is the main cause for it. This is not a situation that only our country has to face, this is a common situation globally. Thus it is essential that the country should understand this situation cooperatively and sensibly. We should not focus on what the Opposition presents, but divert our attention to the real problems and act accordingly,” the Minister said.

He also added that the Opposition expects and looks forward to continuing the economic crisis in the country, and they want more people to die of the pandemic. “Their sole expectation is to gain power through the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths. But we will never allow that. On the contrary, we will do our utmost to pull this country out of the current economic crisis and the pandemic,” he added.

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