Tourism revival after September, states Minister Prasanna Ranatunga

Tourism Minister, Prasanna Ranatunga.

Tourism Minister, Prasanna Ranatunga said yesterday, July 16, that he expects the tourism industry to bounce back fully once the COVID-19 vaccination drive is over in September.

He also invited all airline companies to make special offers and packages for passengers and visitors to arrive in Sri Lanka.

The Minister was addressing journalists at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Katunayake after the arrival of 1.5 Million Moderna vaccines.

He said that airline companies have been afforded the opportunity of offering packages for overseas tourists to arrive here.

The Minister also said that there was a global promotional campaign regarding Sri Lankan tourism as well.

Minister Ranatunga said, “It was a great challenge for us to be able to inoculate 60% of our population with the COVID-19 vaccine which will enable the overseas tourists to have confidence in Sri Lanka as a tourist destination. We are building a campaign towards that. With this, we are very confident that we will be able to bring a large number of tourists here”.

“If all those tourists who come here are also inoculated and we Sri Lankans are also injected, that will be a huge strength to the industry,” he also said.

He said that if these tourists have come after both jabs, they can get the PCR tests at the BIA and then tour the entire country.

“Otherwise, they will have to enter the country under the Bio-Bubble system. We have insured the tourists as well,” he added.

Several thousand tourists have already visited after the opening of the international airports in Colombo and Mattala recently in both charter and scheduled flights.

Many airlines have already begun their normal flights to Colombo.