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Premium transportation providers to tourists seek immediate relief

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Premium transportation service providers to tourism industry are seeking financial relief to similar to hotels and travel firms as they too are suffering from dismal business consequent to the Easter Sunday terror attacks.

Their plight was highlighted at the second meeting of the Cabinet Sub Committee tasked with spearheading quicker revival of tourism on Friday.

It was emphasised that premium/luxury transportation is an integral part of tourism/hotel business as a direct service and plays a significant role in the country’s efforts to lure the high-spending tourists. Having invested nearly Rs. 1 billion for modern fleet (including Mercedes Benz) in recent years in tandem with pick up in tourist arrivals, these transportation companies are now having difficulties in servicing lease arrangements with finance companies/Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs).

“It is critical that the Government must extend the one year moratorium of capital and interest repayment as well as concessionary two year working capital loan relief to premium transportation companies whose service is offered as part of hotel experience. In this support scheme NBFIs must be included,” a representative from premium transport firm Business Class had told the Cabinet Sub Committee meeting.

“We are an important part of the tourism and hotel supply chain and quicker revival of tourism post-Easter Sunday attacks also involves continuity of world class transportation service both on arrival at the airport and between their stay and holiday in Sri Lanka,” the representative added.

As the tourism industry has proposed a Government-guaranteed travel insurance scheme for all tourists as means to boost confidence, it has been recommended that such a cover should be made comprehensive to include ground transportation as well.

“This way the passenger is fully insured and it will be an added comfort on safety and security concerns,” the Business Class representative told Daily FT.


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