The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka yesterday welcomed the appointment of industry expert and MP Namal Rajapaksa's father-in-law Tilak Weerasinghe to the Board of Airport & Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd.
“It’s important for travel industry specialists to represent the industry and share visitor expectations and needs at every touch-point of a foreign visitor to the country.
Today, a number of key places where tourists gather are controlled by Government boards. Airport, airlines, railway, cultural sites and safari parks to name a few,” THASL President Sanath Ukwatte said.
He said as a successful entrepreneur with over 30 years’ experience in the travel and tourism field, Weerasinghe has earned the respect of the industry. “We welcome his appointment as we believe that he will be able to share problems foreign visitors face at the first touch-point they experience as they land in the country,” Ukwatte said.
According to him, the year before the Easter Sunday attacks tourism recorded 2.4 million arrivals, and Sri Lanka was anticipating to reach 5 million in another 6 years or so.
“The target the Government has given us is $ 10 billion in revenue. We are confident of achieving this, provided infrastructure needs are met and the service levels of these Government bodies are maintained at optimal level and they are tourist-friendly. We are confident that the Government will take into account the expansion and development of the Colombo Airport, BIA, as a priority,” the THASL Chief added.