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Inbound tour operators urge Opposition not to vilify tourism

The Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) and the One Industry One Voice partners yesterday endorsed The Hotels Association’s (THASL) statement urging Opposition politicians not to vilify tourism, whose success benefits three million livelihoods with baseless allegations.

“We wouldn’t want the tourism industry to be made use of in a political crossfire. We kindly urge all parties to refrain from making irresponsible and inaccurate statements, giving the idea to the public that this COVID has been brought in by tourists,” SLAITO said in a statement.

It urged politicians to keep tourism away from political agendas.

“We have been battered enough. Don’t attempt to put the final nail in the coffin with false allegations,” SLAITO said.

The statement by SLAITO and THASL as published in FT yesterday was in reference to Opposition MP Patali Champika Ranawaka blaming tourism for the emergence of the COVID-19 third wave in the country.

“If any tourist had brought any virus there would have been a tourism COVID-19 cluster,” SLAITO said, adding: “The safety protocols have been adhered by taking all the precautions and guidelines given by the Ministry of Health in order to protect citizens of the country.”

SLAITO said since the reopening over 18,000 tourists had arrived out of whom only 170 tourists tested positive for COVID-19 or less than 1%. Original Article :

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