Sri Lanka working to put tourism back on track: minister
Apr 22, 2019 15:19 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)
ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka is working to return the tourism industry to normalcy following the Easter Sunday bombings, the country's Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs Minister said.
"We will make every possible effort to get back to normalcy and put tourism back on track following the setback suffered yesterday," John Amaratunga said in a statement on Monday.
He said the government is offering assistance for recovery, and has increased security in the island for the public and tourists.
The full statement follows:
As per the latest information available to us, 39 tourists have died and 28 are currently receiving treatment following the attacks carried out on Easter morning (21st).
From early today I have personally visited those injured in hospital and looked in to their welfare and immediate requirements.
I also visited the three affected hotels, inspected the damage caused and discussed with the respective managements as to how these properties can be restored to their original condition and full operations can be resumed at the earliest.
The government has already offered assistance to all victims, the damaged places of worship as well as the hotels affected by Sunday’s attacks. We will make every possible effort to get back to normalcy and put tourism back on track following the setback suffered yesterday.
I wish to assure the tourism industry that the government has taken every possible measure to ensure the safety of the public and all tourists who are in the country. The three armed forces along with the police have put in place a comprehensive security plan covering hotels, resorts and places of tourist interest to ensure the safety of tourists.
In addition to the measures mentioned above Sri Lanka Tourism has made special arrangements to assign a special representative to the hospitals where injured tourists are receiving treatment and the three hotels affected by the attacks. Three special representatives of Sri Lanka Tourism have also been stationed at the Bandaranaike International Airport to assist tourists both arriving and departing.
My Ministry is working closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the local diplomatic offices in order to further ensure formalities with regard to the victims are sorted out as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile the relevant authorities have made several arrests following the comprehensive investigation that was launched to identify and arrest those behind the attacks. They will continue to pursue the perpetrators and bring them before the full force of the law.
It is vital at this point that the nation stands united and not be misled by unverified reports/information. We call upon all Sri Lankans to act in a responsible manner and assist the authorities to restore normalcy as fast as possible. (Colombo/Apr22/2019-SB)