- THASL, which lobbied for these concessions thanks govt.
- Says “increasing number of inquiries” indicates speedy industry recovery
The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) yesterday thanked the government and particularly Sri Lanka Tourism for granting a wage support scheme for employees of the hotel industry and concessions for the payment of utilities.
THASL vehemently lobbied on behalf of the industry for this support and praised the government for helping the hotel industry’s recovery during these turbulent times.
A THASL statement said following the government’s nod in favour of the wage support scheme and utility concessions, the tourism industry has a chance of rebuilding following the devastation of the lockdown and travel restrictions.
“We thank the government for evaluating our request and granting much needed support helping 2 million livelihoods to restore their lives. We hope the government will continue to support us more in the future too,” THASL President Sanath Ukwatte said.
“Successive governments have paid great importance to the tourism industry and have recognised it as a major contributor to the economic wellbeing of the country.
Since the present government came into office, the industry has got major impetus by being recognised as an export industry with similar incentives as other exporters. Export status to tourism has helped give Sri Lanka’s tourism industry the competitive edge needed over other regional tourism destinations,” the THASL statement said.
The tourism industry is the second highest net foreign exchange earner to the country and earned US$ 4.5 billion in 2018. Tourism earnings to Sri Lanka were on the path to be a US$10bn industry in 5 years.
“Although the current pandemic can set those goals back, the increasing number of inquiries the industry is currently receiving makes tourism businesses confident of a speedy recovery, earlier than expected,” the THASL statement noted.
“THASL continues to lobby for a comprehensive debt restructuring programme of all existing debt and for the tourism industry to have continued access to low interest financing to maintain plant and machinery until the industry rebounds,” it added.