EU Grants Euro 3.5 m for tourism revival

The European Union has offered a grant of Euro 3.5 Million to resurrect the beleaguered tourism industry during a discussion with Minister of Industrial Exports, Investment Promotion Tourism and Aviation Prasanna Ranatunga.  

EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka Denis Chaibi has requested Minister Ranatunga to submit the requisite proposals which will match up to the grant which was made at the meeting between the two.  

The EU Ambassador also said that the EU was very pleased with the efforts that the Government had taken to combat the virus and also that the grant was a measure of goodwill of the EU to resurrect the already beleaguered Sri Lankan tourism industry.

The Minister, while expressing his thanks on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka for the EU Grant, directed the Chairperson of the Tourism Promotion Bureau Kimarli Fernando to submit the proposals to the EU Ambassador expeditiously.

According to tourism statistics, the arrivals to Sri Lanka   at the time that the curfew was imposed on March 19, was 71, 370 and 60% were from the EU. The arrivals from the EU for the month of March was 42,084   which made the EU the region the highest arrival market for Sri Lanka.

 Minister Prasanna Ranatunga also drew attention to the fact that one of the priorities of the Government was to increase its foreign exchange earnings and to develop the economy.

He said   that the aim of the government was to increase tourist arrivals to 7 Million by 2025 and to increase the foreign exchange revenue to US $ 10 Billion by that time.

 The Minister while stressing that he tourism industry had collapsed  the world over, said that all the possible steps would be taken to  combat all the  negative effects  which took place due to COVID 19 to achieve the  set targets.

 Also participating at the meeting was Tourism and Aviation Ministry Secretary S. Hettiarachchi, Secretary to the Ministry of Industrial Exports Mapa Pathirana, Chairperson of the Tourism Development Authority Kimarli Fernando and Director General Dhamma Wijeratne.

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