Feb 18, Colombo: President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has instructed entrepreneurs in the tourism sector to prepare to embark on a new journey in the industry by overcoming challenges as the tourism sector is a vital component of the national economy of this country.
He said the government has taken steps to provide all facilities to tourists except for the health restrictions imposed on public safety in the face of the existing Covid-19.
The President made this observation at a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (17) on the promotion of the tourism industry. Leaders of line institutions and leading entrepreneurs in the field participated in the discussion.
Discussion also focused on giving priority to tourism sector staff, such as hotel staff, tour guides and drivers, when the Covid vaccine is administered. It was suggested that there was no need to quarantine the facilitators when tourists were not infected.
It was also decided to take the infected tourists to Lanka Hospital (Pvt) Ltd and to the hospital run by the Sri Lanka Army in Koggala.
President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has instructed officials to pay close attention to guiding tourists according to the approved tourism plan. He also advised them to pay attention to the facilities for the tourists and their reactions at the end of the tour.
Entrepreneurs said that since all the relief has been received from the government, they will work towards achieving future goals through proper planning.
During the discussion, it was revealed that the percentage of infected tourists among the tourists who came during the Covid period was less than 1 percent.
Basil Rajapaksa, Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival, said that the benefit of being ranked 10th in the world rankings on Covid repression could be used to boost the tourism industry and noted that that those involved in the tourism sector took steps to uplift the sector adhering to the recommendations of the health sector during this challenging period.
Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga, Acting Minister of Health Prof. Channa Jayasumana, State Ministers Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, D. V. Chanaka, Secretary to the President P. B. Jayasundera were present at the discussion.