Home / Front Page/ Govt. gives fresh boost for tourism

Govt. gives fresh boost for tourism


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Tuesday, 9 July 2019 01:04

Facebook

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
SLTDA Chairman Johanne Jayaratne

 

  • Cabinet approval to reduce Ground Handling Charges, Aviation Fuel, Embarkation levy for six months 
  • CPC to be told to sell fuel at the same price as Chennai airport  

Cabinet has given approval for a slew of charges including Ground Handling, Aviation Fuel and Embarkation levy to be reduced for six months to assist the tourism industry to recover after the Easter Sunday attacks. 

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe presented the Cabinet paper on Sunday, according to a short statement on the Cabinet papers released by the Government Information Department yesterday. In the Cabinet paper he had proposed to instruct the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) to sell fuel at the same price as the Chennai airport.  

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) together with the Prime Minister’s office, Tourism Minister John Amaratunga and the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka prepared the Cabinet paper for the reduction of Ground Handling Charges, Aviation Fuel, and the Embarkation levy for six months.

In 2018, approximately 2.3 million tourists arrived and spent a total of 25 million hotel nights in the country while generating an income of $ 4.4 billion. More than 98% of tourists to Sri Lanka are currently brought by international airlines. By April 2018, 29 airlines were serving Sri Lanka offering 300 flights per week, the statement by SLTDA said. 

However, following the 21 April Easter Sunday attacks, the connectivity was reduced to 239 flights per week resulting in a total of 41 flights cancellations which amounts to a loss of seat supply by 8,000 per week from six countries – China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Oman, and Thailand. 

A total of 11 foreign airlines reduced their flight frequencies to BIA while one airline (Rossiya – Russian Airline) withdrew completely (two flights/week) resulting in a complete loss of direct air connectivity with Russia. Most of the airlines which reduced frequencies are low-cost carriers.  

Accordingly, the direct and indirect negative impact of the Easter Sunday attacks per day is approximately Rs. 12 million and Rs. 51 million respectively. 

Given the need to resurrect the tourism industry, which was badly affected by the Easter Sunday attacks, the SLTDA took prompt action to work with the Prime Minister’s office as well as the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs and the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka to draft a Cabinet paper and initiate the implementation of the following reductions in Aviation-related discounts in order to encourage airlines to reduce the cost of airline tickets and combine these specially priced tickets with the discounts being offered by hotels and restaurants in Sri Lanka. 

“The positive and immediate action taken by the Government, especially by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister John Amaratunga and the Civil Aviation Director General H.M.C Nimalsiri, in response to the urgent request made by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, comes at a critical time and is most appreciated,” said SLTDA Chairman Johanne Jayaratne. 

“The Authority will be working closely with the Board of Airline Representatives (BAR), and the Sri Lanka Association of Airline Representatives (SLAAR) to ensure that these lowered rates are reflected in the airline ticket pricing going forward,” he added. 

 


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Expand employer-backed childcare to close the gender gap in Sri Lanka

Friday, 19 July 2019

In Sri Lanka, women’s formal workforce participation is at only 36%, compared with 75% for men. Sri Lanka could raise its gross domestic product by as much as 20% in the long-run by closing the gender gap in the workforce, according to one estimate


Who should be our next president?

Friday, 19 July 2019

After the recent terrorist attacks and the subsequent violence unleashed against innocent Muslims by racists, Sri Lankans are searching for a leader who can save the country. Many have lost faith in the leaders, due to the breakdown in the security a


The messed-up lives

Friday, 19 July 2019

It can be seen that there is a serious mess-up not only in the State and the social system in Sri Lanka, but also in the lives of the people. People of Sri Lanka are having smiling faces, yet those who live happily are very rare. You will find that u


Reimagining our reality: the last best hope for us?

Friday, 19 July 2019

Imagination can be a powerful tool for shaping everyday reality. We use it to construct everything from the mundane to the mystic. A down-to-earth example would be our subscription to the idea of the intrinsic value and worth of every human being. I


Columnists More