Sept 24, Colombo: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says the tourism industry should be developed as a main step to build a strong economy.
The Premier emphasized this while presiding over the 46th Annual General Meeting of the Association Sri Lanka Hotel School Graduates held at the Anantara Peace Haven in Tangalle on Saturday (23).
The Prime Minister as the Chief Guest presented the lifetime awards to several veterans in the tourism industry during the last 46 years.
Speaking at the event, the Premier said the development of tourism is a key strategy for strengthening the economy.
"Tourism creates jobs. Truism brings in foreign exchange and we need those foreign exchange both to reduce our balance of payment, deficit and more so to repay our national debt," he said.
The Prime Minister noted that currently the best area for tourism is the South, especially Galle and Matara between the two airports and Tangalle closer to the Mattala airport. .
At the occasion, several individuals who have committed for the improvement of the tourism industry include Malin Hapugoda, U.C. Jayasinghe and Ravi Diritotawela were felicitated for the significant services they rendered for the tourism industry.
Tourism and Christian Affairs Minister John Amaratunga was also present at the event.