Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) will roll out an Industrial Assistance Scheme for global promotions by local Destination Management Companies (DMCs), Hotel Owners and Online Travel Agents (OTAs), targeting a surge in tourist arrivals ahead of the upcoming holiday season.
As per the short-term strategic initiative, the concessions are expected to be disbursed among eligible institutions for a maximum period of six months in 2022. The Board of Directors of SLTPB has approved the allocation of Rs. 400 million for the proposed Industrial Assistance Scheme.
The proposal submitted by Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on Monday.
“The country is gradually recovering under the new normal, with high expectations on the development of the tourism industry. We hope that the proposed industrial assistance scheme to promote the destination will encourage stakeholders and will also reflect increased arrivals and earnings in the short term,” Ranatunga said.
The Government has provided a number of special concessions to those involved in the tourism industry post-pandemic.
Provisional data released by Tourism Ministry showed 23,745 tourist arrivals from 1 to 8 January, as opposed to 1,682 visitors recorded for the entirety of January 2021. Russia, India, Ukraine, the UK, Germany, the Maldives, Australia, France, Poland and Kazakhstan were the key tourist traffic sources during first eight days of 2022.
“Looking at the tourist arrival numbers, I believe 2022 is a year of optimism for the tourism industry,” the Minister said.
The Government is pinning hopes on tourism as a low-hanging fruit to boost foreign exchange earnings.