- Govt. may consider subsiding: Tourism and Aviation State Minister
Tourism and Aviation State Minister Arundika Fernando yesterday revealed that SriLankan Airlines has been requested to consider resuming flights to Germany and France with the option of the Government extending a subsidy. “We have started discussions with the national carrier on the need to resume services to either Frankfurt in Germany and/or Paris in France. These are hubs for the rest of Europe, and direct flights will boost arrivals,” he said, adding that if such flights needs to be subsidised, the Government will consider it.
He said the Government led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is targeting 7 million tourists and $ 10 billion earnings by 2025, from 2.3 million tourists and $ 4.4 billion in 2018.
A big tour operator out of France and Belgium, Salaün Holidays President Michel Salanu said it will be a big boon to fly in more tourists if there are direct flights, though he acknowledged the latter was a big challenge, given the dynamics and competitiveness of the aviation industry.
Salaün, which has been promoting Sri Lanka for over 15 years, annually brings over 2,000 French and Belgian tourists, and hopes to double the number this year or by 2021, following a successful mega familiarisation tour involving 20 leading journalists from these two countries.