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UNP calls on the Govt. to help tourism industry stakeholders

The United National Party called upon the government to focus on reviving the tourism industry in the country before they attempt to amend the Tourism Act.

Member of the UNP Working Committee, Dinouk Colombage, when speaking to the media said that there was an urgent need to revive the tourism industry.

“COVID-19 has damaged the industry immensely, the government must focus on assisting the stakeholders both small and big. At this point adjusting any legislation in regard to the tourism industry must not be a priority,” he said.

The UNP also questioned the government over the moratoriums that were offered to the tourism sector.

"While the moratorium period for the sector has been extended many stakeholders have urged the Government for more support. Hotels which were quarantine centers are now being avoided by holidaymakers, how will they be looked after?”, the UNP said.

They called on the government to ensure full support is extended to all areas of the tourism industry, “if the tourist sector’s immediate needs are not addressed, there will be no industry left.”

The Sri Lanka government’s plans to amend the Tourism Act of 2005, which governs tourism in the country by amalgamating four state institutions involved in tourism into one agency, has been met with strong opposition from industry players.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Minister of Finance had earlier stated that the government planned to bring four existing institutions relating to tourism under the proposed Tourism Promotion Authority.

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