Sri Lanka to cut regulatory blocks to reach US$10bn tourism revenue target

FLYING IN: Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa meeting officials of the Civil Aviation Ministry

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has called for a target based plan to drive tourism revenue to 10 billion US dollars by 2025, his office said, promising to cut un-necessary regulatory barriers that stand in the way of expansion of the sector.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had met Ministers Prasanna Ranatunga, Arundika Fernando and officials including the Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation S M Mohomad, Secretary to the State Ministry of Tourism Promotion S S S Fernando.

The industry was expecting to boost revenue to 10 billion US dollars by 2025 from the 4.38 billion US dollars in 2018. In 2018, tourism revenues dropped after Easter Sunday attacks.

” Every step should generate immediate results. On my part I do not hesitate to take decisions for the benefit of the country,” President Rajapaksa was quoted as saying at the meeting. ”

“I expect the officials would commit themselves to pass benefits of such decisions onto the public. If there is a target -based plan, every challenge can be overcome.”

Attention was also drawn to “amend rules and regulations” and to remove “unnecessary approvals procedures”, the statement said.

President had said the quality of facilities provided at tourists should be upgraded.

Sri Lanka would try to increase direct flight to European destinations, boost promotions and tourist police would be placed under a deputy inspector general.

Priority should be given to promoting Ayurveda, Ceylon Tea and surfing.

The indigenous  Ayurvedic system has already become highly popular among foreigners.

Priority should be given to promote unique activities such as surfing and promoting Ceylon tea it had been said. (SB-Colombo/Jan14/2020)