Monday, August 15, 2022

Sri Lanka is rooting for Indian tourists to boost its battered tourism sector

The island nation is known for its hills, beaches and seaside towns. The nation of 22 million people does not have enough foreign currency to import essentials and this has led to shortages of medicine, food, and fuel

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 Sri Lanka wants to woo Indian tourists and is planning to hold road shows in five Indian cities. The move is a bid to bring more foreign currency to the crisis-hit island, according to the country’s Tourism Minister Harin Fernando, reported Reuters.

The island nation is known for its hills, beaches and seaside towns. The nation of 22 million people does not have enough foreign currency to import essentials and this has led to shortages of medicine, food, and fuel.

Sri Lanka will present its debt restructuring plan to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in August. It hopes to secure a USD 3 billion programme to put the economy back on track

The economic turmoil notwithstanding, the country saw 61,951 Indian tourists — the most from any foreign country — in the first five months of this year. The government is interested to see more Indian visitors.

“Sri Lanka must have tourism revenue if it is to emerge from this crisis. That is essential,” said Minister Fernando. He spoke about the road shows in five major Indian cities that would bring business and leisure travellers and destination weddings. “India is a very important market for us,” the Minister said and he hoped that by the end the year around one million tourists would step into Sri Lanka, compared to less than 200,000 arrivals last year. “We are confident the winter season will be good,” Fernando said.

Sri Lanka will present its debt restructuring plan to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in August. It hopes to secure a USD 3 billion programme to put the economy back on track.

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