Hotels to meet airlines today to lure tourists with special promotions

Thursday, 2 May 2019 02:48 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Charumini de Silva

The hotels industry, along with tourism leaders, will meet representatives of leading airlines today, to discuss an immediate strategy to lure tourists to visit Sri Lanka via special promotions. 

The meeting is a direct outcome of the discussions held between the tourism industry and Prime Minister on Tuesday. 

Sources said that competing destinations such as Indonesia and Thailand, as well as others such as Tunisia had adopted a similar strategy, as part of revivals of tourism after being struck by extremist terror attacks targeting foreigners. 

“At today’s meeting, we will request for the airlines to consider offering free tickets to accompanying persons or families, attractive discounts, or any other inducements, to visit Sri Lanka for their holidays. Whilst 21 April Easter Sunday terror attacks is the biggest setback for the country post-war, the security situation has improved considerably with no further incidents. We hope this to continue, and with other on-going or planned revival measures, we hope tourism can bounce back soon,” a senior hotelier said. 

Last year, Sri Lanka attracted a record 2.3 million tourists, up 11% from 2017,and a foreign exchange earnings of $ 4.4 billion. Original forecasts was 2.8 million tourists for 2019.

However, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera last week said following the Easter Sunday mayhem, arrivals could dip by 30% this year with a foreign exchange loss of $ 1.5 billion. 


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