SL to target $ 1 b in tourism earnings in 2021: Basil

Sri Lanka (SL) should formulate proposals to earn $ 1 billion from tourism in 2021 and provide vaccine priority to industry employees to boost the sector’s recovery, Presidential Task Force on Economic Recovery and Poverty Alleviation Chairman Basil Rajapaksa said yesterday.

Speaking at a high-level meeting at Temple Trees on tourism development, which included Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, State Minister D.V. Chanaka and State Minister of Primary Health Services, Pandemics and COVID Prevention Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Rajapaksa instructed officials to formulate policies targeting $ 1 billion in earnings in 2021. 

“We cannot depend only on exports to earn revenue. Therefore, it is imperative that the tourism industry is facilitated to function. Industry employees should also be moved up the priority list to get COVID-19 vaccines,” he is quoted as saying in a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office. 

He had also said SL cannot fall behind competitive countries that are seeking to resuscitate their tourism industry and should therefore prepare policies to re-attract tourists to the country. 

Rajapaksa had also pointed out that in a recent survey SL was placed among the top ten countries travellers would consider and should leverage on the country’s comparative success in containing COVID-19. 

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