The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) yesterday congratulated President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his successful election as the seventh Executive President of Sri Lanka and sought his fullest support to revive the crisis-hit industry.
“Since the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2009, the tourism industry has helped the economic revival of our country. Tourism has helped generate billions of dollars in investment and has created over 500,000 jobs throughout the country. By end-2018, over two million Sri Lankans were dependent on tourism for their livelihood and the industry was contributing nearly US $ 4.5 billion towards GDP.
But today, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is in a major crisis. Over 90 hotels in the country are up for sale and thousands of livelihoods are under threat as a result of lower visitors and earnings,” THASL President Sanath Ukwatte said in a statement.
“After the tragedy of the Easter Sunday attacks, our industry has been virtually crippled. Our main objective now is to regain the trust of our foreign visitors, re-establish Sri Lanka as a safe and desirable destination and to maintain the livelihoods of our staff and their dependents.
We look forward to support from your government to grant us the required relief and assistance on an urgent basis in order to revive Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.
Our association especially looks forward to working closely with Your Excellency to help rebuild Sri Lanka’s tourism industry and explore new ways together to implement our collective ideas for the growth of tourism and the development of our country,” Ukwatte added.