Over Rs. 81 m spent as relief for tour guides, drivers registered with SLTDA

Thursday, 12 August 2021 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Over Rs. 81 million has been spent to provide relief to Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) registered tour guides and drivers who were affected due to the COVID pandemic.

Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said 4,746 tour guides and drivers registered with the SLTDA have been paid an allowance of Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 15,000 respectively.

The SLTDA has allocated Rs. 186 million to provide related allowances to registered tour guides and drivers in the tourism sector. A total of Rs. 47.10 million has been spent to pay a Rs. 20,000 allowance for 2,510 national and provincial level tour guides, whilst Rs. 34.54 million has been spent to pay Rs. 15,000 allowance for 2,236 registered tourist drivers as of 30 June.

The Tourism Minister said that the Government took proactive steps to provide relief to stakeholders despite the adverse effects it had on the economy at large and is exploring all possible measures to revive the industry.

Ranatunga also highlighted that many individuals and entities in the tourism industry were not registered with the SLTDA and they had to encounter various problems in obtaining those reliefs.

“I encourage individuals and firms that are not registered with SLTDA to get registered and be recognised as a legal entity to take advantage of the benefits extended to the stakeholders,” the Minister added.