- Assures all Govt. support to industry
- Priority vaccinations for employees
- COVID-19 positive patients to be treated at Koggala hospital
- Infected patients less than 1% of total tourists
As the tourism sector is a vital component of the national economy, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday, assuring all of the Government’s support, called on industry entrepreneurs to get ready to embark on a new journey of overcoming challenges to revive the sector.
In the face of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has taken every possible measure to provide all required facilities, notwithstanding the health related restrictions imposed, to ensure safety of the public, Rajapaksa said.
The President made these remarks during a discussion with the representatives of the tourism sector held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday,. Heads of line institutions in the tourism industry and leading entrepreneurs were present, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.
Attention was paid to give priority to the personnel such as hotel employees, tour guides and drivers under the ongoing COVID vaccination program. It was stated that there is no requirement to quarantine service providers when tourists have not tested positive.
A decision was taken to shuttle the infected tourists to the hospital in Koggala managed by Lanka Hospitals Ltd. and the Sri Lanka Army. The President instructed officials to pay due attention to directing the tourists as per the approved tourism plan.
The President also advised the relevant officials to take necessary measures to improve facilities for tourists and to take into account the comments made by them when they depart for their respective countries.
The entrepreneurs stated that they will take all steps possible to achieve future goals under proper strategies, as the government has already provided necessary relief measures.
During the discussion it was revealed that according to figures, the percentage of COVID-19 infected tourists who arrived in the country during the outbreak is less than 1%.
Presidential Task Force for Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation head Basil Rajapaksa, stated that the advantage of Sri Lanka ranking 10th in the COVID-19 Performance Index for its successful handling of the coronavirus pandemic can be utilised for the promotion of the tourism industry. He further stressed that individuals engaged in tourism should take necessary measures to uplift the industry by adhering to the health guidelines during this challenging period.
Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, Acting Health Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana, State Ministers Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle and D.V. Chanaka, Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundara and Ministry Secretaries, Heads of State Institutions related to the tourism industry, members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Prevention and other officials participated in the discussion.