SLAITO and OIOV welcome appointment of Basil Rajapaksa

The Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) and One Industry One Voice (OIOV) members, in a statement expressed their delight over the appointment of Basil Rajapaksa as the Minister of Finance.

Basil Rajapaksa

Following is the full text of the statement: It is important to recall that his untiring efforts as the Minister of Economic Affairs from 2009 to 2015 resulted in a rapid growth in the tourism industry. During his tenure as the Minister in charge of tourism, many successful promotional campaigns were carried out in overseas emerging source markets such as Russia and China. As a result, the tourist arrivals which stood at 447,890 in 2009 increased to 1,798,380 by 2015. SLAITO is confident that Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga will have the support of Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa in his efforts to revive and move forward the tourism industry that benefits three million people in the country. On a request made by the Minister of Tourism, SLAITO has submitted a proposal to revive the tourism industry in the short and medium-term. The proposal submitted includes the markets that need to be targeted on a priority basis and the importance of making the health protocols tourism friendly whilst conforming to a set of practical health guidelines. Further, it is also necessary to avoid unnecessary costs and procedures as Sri Lanka needs to be competitive globally compared to other destinations. At this juncture, it is important to look at the possibility of a credit line for the tourism industry that has suffered after the Easter attacks in April 2019. It will give the opportunity for the stakeholders to survive this extremely difficult period. It is absolutely important for all the tourism stakeholders to work together under the leadership of the Minister of Tourism, and we are confident that we will have the guidance and the support of the Minister of Finance to make tourism the number one foreign exchange generating industry by 2025.

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