Tourism Minister Appoints 11 Member Advisory Committee to Revive the Tourism Industry
Tourism Minister, Prasanna Ranatunga, appointed an 11 member advisory committee comprising of private sector stakeholders, on the 28th of October at the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM). Industry Veteran Hiran Cooray was selected as Chairman with Connaissance De Ceylan Chairman Chandra Wickramasinghe, Shangri La Hotel Colombo Vice President Timothy Wright, Santani Wellness Resort Founder Vickum Nawagamuwa, SriLankan Airlines CEO Vipula Gunatilleka, Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association Past President and Executive Committee Member CHSGA Trevine Gomez, Daily FT Editor and CEO Nisthar Cassim, Expedia Area Manager Savi Godakanda EmarketingEye CEO Rajitha Dahanayake, Ranjit De Silva (Secretary) and Nimesh Herath (Coordinator) making up the rest of the committee members.
The minister outlined the importance of the tourism sector in boosting socio-economic development, enhancing foreign exchange earnings and income, and providing employment opportunities to locals. He further stated that tourism in Sri Lanka has been identified as a major thrust sector in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s national strategy document and vision “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour” with a goal of attracting 7 million foreign travellers and bringing in $10 billion in foreign exchange in the medium to long-term plan. The minister requested the newly appointed committee to draw up a framework and a proposal to reopen the country for visitors again, initially through a travel bubble or a travel corridor whilst looking into supporting the livelihood of those dependent on the tourism industry.
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