Published on : Friday, December 1, 2017
Besides the concession provided to the tourism sector via Budget 2018, the Ministry of Tourism Development has made other definite requests to the Finance Minister also. These requests comprise reverting the earlier excise licensing hours, credit facilities for business and other concessions.
This was disclosed by John Amaratunga, the Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, while addressing at the Institute of Hospitality Sri Lanka Branch 19th Chairman’s Black Tie Dinner on November 29th at the Colombo Hilton.
Though Minister Amaratunga was the Guest of Honour, James Dauris, the British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka was the Chief Guest at the event.
The Minister delivered speech at a stretch about different challenges the industry has faced this year and the resultant slowdown in figures in terms of arrival. “At the very start of the year, we faced the challenge of the partial airport closure which went on for four months. This was followed by devastating floods in the southern part of the country followed by the dengue epidemic which resulted in many countries issuing travel advisories. All this took its toll on the arrival figures this year. We will most likely see the same number of arrivals as last year,” he said.
Also, the minister was hopeful about the year ahead. “After much effort we are finally seeing progress in the global marketing campaign which as the industry keeps pointing out, is long overdue. One of the issues we have had is the stringent checks and balances with regard to finance and the fact that officials don’t want to take a chance given past experience. These are practical issues that have delayed the global campaign. However the digital campaign is now ready to be implemented early next year,” the Minister explained.