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$ 1.5 b tourism target for 2021

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  • SL eyes 8,000 tourists per month after July 
  • 9-member Steering Committee for global campaign 

A 9-member high powered Steering Committee has been appointed by Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga to carry out a global promotional campaign to attract $ 1.5 billion worth tourists target for 2021, The Morning learnt.

Speaking to The Morning on Tuesday (23) Ministry of Tourism Secretary S. Hettiarachchi said that the committee has been set up for the ‘Strategic Management of Global Promotional Campaign’. It has been tasked with ensuring a successful campaign to promote Sri Lanka Tourism by providing the necessary advice to Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) for the planning and monitoring process of the campaign.

According to Hettiarachchi, the committee targets around 8,000 tourists per month after July, especially from Western and Eastern Europe, China and Bangladesh.

“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we cannot expect many tourists before July. However, we hope this situation will normalise after July,” said Hettiarachchi.

Meanwhile, the travel bubble arrangement being worked out between Sri Lankan and Indian authorities could soon pave the way for a steady flow of Indian visitors into Sri Lanka.

According to Hettiarachchi, the Ministry of Tourism is to explore new markets and the Indian travel bubble would look into opportunities in MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) tourism as well.

“We have several discussions with the Indian High Commissioner regarding the Indian travel bubble and we hope to launch it soon,” he added.

A nine-member, high-powered Steering Committee was appointed by Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga.

The committee members include Tourism Ministry Secretary S. Hettiarachchi, Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Acting Managing Director Madhubani Perera, Tourism Advisory Committee Chairman Hiran Cooray, Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators President Thilak Weerasinghe, The Hotels Association President Sanath Ukwatte, Tourism Advisory Committee Member Rajitha Dahanayake and Tourism Minister’s Representative Nimesh Herath.

In April 2020, the Cabinet approved a critical five-year traveller-focused and evidence-based global promotion for Sri Lanka. Since 2018, the global campaign has been planned to centre around the “So Sri Lanka” theme.


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