Sri Lanka to welcome tourists from countries which will vaccinate citizens

FILE PHOTO – Tourists on the Southern coastline

ECONOMYNEXT-Sri Lanka will admit tourists from countries which will begin to vaccinate their populations using a WHO-approved plan the country’s Tourism Minister told a Parliamentary Consultative Committee meeting yesterday.

Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga, he said that the island “should consider opening the Airport for tourism when the US and Europe initiate the COVID vaccination process.”

Ranatunga was responding to questions raised by Members of Parliament.

MP Premitha Bandara Tennakoon told the committee that the United Kingdom has declared it will be the first country to approve the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine soon to be followed by Europe and the US.

The MP highlighted that with the availability of a vaccine, soon tourists will begin to fly to destinations and thus Sri Lanka tourism should plan to benefit from it.

Ranatunga added that the plan to reopen the airport allowing foreign tourists to enter Sri Lanka has been prepared in accordance with the COVID-19 guidelines and added that once the approval from the health authorities is given the airport will be opened for tourist traffic.

Addressing the Committee, MP Diana Gamage raised her concerns over the safety of tourists who visit the Country.

Responding to the concern, SLTDA Chair Kimarli Fernando stated that for the first time President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a DG for tourism.

Adding to it the SLTDA Chair also highlighted that they have created Sri Lanka’s first-ever mobile app to assist tourists utilizing technology going forward. She stated that the App consists of an “emergency button” where the location of the tourist will be shared with the nearest police station.

Version One of the Sri Lanka Tourism Travel App is scheduled to be made available by the Q3 of 2021.

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With regard to long queues, passengers will have to experience at the immigration, Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services Major General G.A. Chandrasiri said that two separate cubicles have been established already to facilitate first-class passengers and business class passengers and it will operate as soon as the airport reopens.

Addressing the Committee Batticaloa MP Shanakiyan Rasamanickam highlighted the need of a blueprint to develop tourism in the North and the East as it lacks tourist attraction to a large extent. He also proposed that the government resume the Talaimannar ferry service for the purpose of developing tourism.

Adding to it, SLTDA Chair stated that they have already identified 4956 new sites including the Ramayana trail in Sri Lanka and have already spoken to the Indian ambassador to promote it in India.(Colombo/Dec4/2020)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe

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9 Comments

  1. It is so funny how the government is not wanting to spend money on vaccinating sri lankans, or allowing sri lankans to return back from abroad. what an awesome democratic and humanitarian government.

  2. Good day
    I am Mr Kraus from Germany. I will wait for the corona vaccine befor I travel to Sri Lanka. Do I need to undergo 14 days quarantine? Do I need to stay at certified hotels? I am a long stay tourist (6 month)
    I prefare to stay long time in a house.

  3. Make sure tourists do not go through inconveniences on arrival in airports. You must make a fast clearance system like many countries. Do not charge for tourism visas if you want more tourists. Whatever said, the numbers come from middle class tourists in the world not high end tourists. Just look at the air line Air Asia & compare Air Asia with full service air lines, others can’t compete with Air Asia in profits. Budget service is where the business is today & this is a fact. Give free visas & whatever possible free & promote the country & you will get the big foreign exchange coming in for sure. Also ensure there’s trouble free entry & exit from the country & good services available in the country. Authorities must always take complains, bad comments etc very seriously & rectify them immediately. You will find the complains, bad comments etc about Sri Lanka in the utube. Sri Lanka is a hidden gem in tourism to many tourists. Good luck to Sri Lanka.

  4. It will be a good boost for Lanka tourism and promoting Ramayana trail will attract lot of Indian visiting srilanka Now most important thing is the opening of airport for international traffic Can you predict tentative date of airport open ING

  5. Its good we stuck overseas.when will be the airport open.which airline is working from Newzealad ? Whe

    1. The toilets in the airport should be clean and fresh, the last time I was there a year ago.. they were NOT.
      Toilets are a big reflection on the cleanliness. Lessons for the management.

  6. Why would we want to go visit a country that treated us like criminals when we signed off vessels during this time. Naval escorts even after we did PCR test and received a negative return.

  7. Is it only for tourists??? What about the srilankans who live in other countries who are still not able to come… does the price of the ticket will be sold at reasonable price or higher so that non can effort to buy very ashamed of our country the way treat the srilankans who live abroad

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