- Comprehensive operational guideline with health protocols to be followed when country reopens for travellers in August
- SLTDA to launch COVID-19 health certification scheme for accommodation sector
- SLTDA working with UNDP to develop roadmap for tourism sector
Sri Lanka Tourism authorities said they were collaboratively exploring avenues of re-positioning the country as the world’s top destination with an excellent healthcare system, by introducing extensive health and safety protocols to ensure a ‘safe and secure’ traveller experience.
Following an extensive consultative process with all stakeholders within the tourism sector, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) noted that a comprehensive operational guideline with health protocols has now been made available to be followed when the country reopens its borders for travellers in August.
The first version of these guidelines includes arrival and departure procedures, airport and travel options within the country and guidelines for accommodation, tourist facilities, travel operators, tourist attractions and responsibilities of local authorities interacting with tourists.
Further, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) announced that a COVID-19 health certification scheme for the accommodation sector would be launched, which will be certified by the Ministry of Health and monitored by an independent audit firm. “Sri Lanka Tourism looks to create and strengthen a resilient tourism industry by working together with stakeholders across all sectors to achieve a ‘safe and secure’ destination of choice for travellers,” Sri Lanka
Tourism Chairperson, Kimarli Fernando said.
Meanwhile, the SLTDA revealed that it has been collaborating with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to develop a resilient roadmap for the country’s tourism sector.
In addition, UNDP has also been assisting the tourism authorities in terms of developing a comprehensive travel app called ‘Visit Sri Lanka,’ immediate donor coordination and procurement support, as well as co-hosting a roundtable discussion with partners on the roadmap and way forward.
Meanwhile, with the decision to reopen all international airports in August 2020, Sri Lanka Tourism was quick to inform the same along with other promotional communication material being developed to cater to key markets in line with easing travel restrictions from around the world.
“These included exclusive interviews with Aljazeera TV and Rossiyskaya Gazeta- a leading Russian newspaper, and a feature at the upcoming Trip.Com tourism promotion event in Shanghai, China and the Virtual Sri Lanka Tourism Conclave in India,” a SLTDA statement said. It further said Sri Lanka Tourism has also been given free coverage for a month through a partnership with BBC Global News.
In order to ensure the safety of all travellers arriving in the country, the tourism authorities in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence has also launched a comprehensive survey to understand the readiness of tourist entities and employees in welcoming tourists back to our island nation.