Global tourism inquiries for Lanka - THASL chairman | Sunday Observer

Global tourism inquiries for Lanka - THASL chairman

Countries such as India, China, England, Germany and Russia have made inquiries as to when Sri Lanka would resume tourism, Chairman, Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka Sanath Ukwatte told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

“They were now making inquiries on room rates etc post August to March 2021 as that was when Sri Lanka was going to open its airports and hotels, as they were keen on sending guests here which meant that tourism in Sri Lanka is not dead yet” , he said.

Ukwatte and the Colombo City Tourist Hotels Association president, Mylvaganam Shanthikumar said they were keen for the Government to announce when the business for local tourists could be resumed so that the salaries of the minor staff could at least be paid in the interim. Shanthikumar proposed that border restrictions be removed so that it would ease travel.

The tourism business has been the worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and if the Government relaxes border restrictions we could reopen restaurants and even open the banquets for weddings, he said.

Ukwatte said THASL had also provided its inputs for the guidelines which will be issued by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and the hotels would be training staff for same.

He proposed that the Government could provide tax incentives for the industry, considering individual and corporate tax payers’ benefits for the use of the hotels for conferences and seminars and suggested that the State should also protect the jobs of the hotel employees for at least six months until the industry picks up.