The discussion held with Minister Amaratunga
Representative of airlines, hotels and tour operators met with Tourism Minister John Amaratunga yesterday to discuss and develop a cohesive recovery plan for the travel and
In order to drive up arrivals, the airlines requested from the government to offer concessions in the short term on fuel price (landing and parking), ground handling charges and revision of embarkation tax. They also requested the government to lobby and remove travel bans and advisories to support and protect flight bookings from key markets such as China and India which are currently holding for June and July travel.
They proposed to offer special fares to Sri Lanka (post travel ban removals), support to invite tour operators, agents on familiarization trips, actively support inviting media from different markets, focus on new markets where they would have seats available.
They also thanked the government for the financial package and committed to build security at hotels for the safety of guests.
Furthermore, the representatives requested the government to arrange a safety audit to be carried out and stringent procedures implemented for the safety and security of all, and also to write to the diplomatic missions and build confidence amongst the diplomatic community and get the Sri Lankan ambassadors overseas to market the destination .
A subcommittee with representatives from BAR-THASL and SLAITO will meet next week with specific proposals to objectively drive the action plan, so that implementation could be immediate when travel advisories are relaxed and removed. The industry pointed out that there was less ticket cancellations in June compared to May.