Last Updated : 2019-08-17 21:19:00

This is the starting point-PM

25 October 2018 04:42 am - 11     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who made a special statement on the naming of Sri Lanka as the top destination to visit in 2019 said this achievement should be a starting point to go to a higher level in tourism.

“Let us make this award, for us, a starting point to go to a higher level of tourism,” he said.

“We are restructuring ourselves to be an export economy, and in the export economy, the tourism has received a principal place since it can be one of the fastest foreign exchange earners. Let us make it the starting point to double the revenue that we have from tourism,” the Prime Minister said.

Following is the full text of his statement.

“The Lonely Planet has named Sri Lanka as the Top Destination for 2019. I must first and foremost express our satisfaction and our delight in being so-named. This is a result of a policy we have followed from 2015, of giving prominence to tourism, of developing tourism - that today we have come into this category of being the top tourist destination. We have to maintain this, we cannot be satisfied with one destination award; it is only a start.

We have to look at the shortcomings in our tourist system (there are many), and we have to overcome them. We have to ensure that we plan for the future; that we cater for backpackers as well as high spending tourists. What matters to us first and foremost is a high income from tourists, not merely the numbers. Today we are a destination for people from Japan, China, India, and into Europe. We have to increase the numbers coming into the country. We have to safeguard our historical monuments, we must safeguard our natural wildlife, and we have to add more attractions.

Tourism today concerns a large number of people, not merely large hoteliers but all those who have homestay accommodations, small shops, and small restaurants. We should widen and increase the numbers participating and benefitting in tourism. At this moment I would like, first and foremost, to thank all those who are responsible for us being named a top destination. The Minister, Minister John Amaratunga and his staff, the Tourist Development Authority, members of the Tourism Task Force, and Advisory the Committee, who gave us their valuable service; all the people who are connected to and involved in the hospitality and tourism industry; and finally, I must also thank the people of Sri Lanka, for the friendly demeanor they have shown to all tourists. That's a part of our nature, and part of our heritage.

Let us make this award, for us, a starting point to go to a higher level of tourism. We are restructuring ourselves to be an export economy, and in the export economy, tourism has received a principle place since it can be one of the fastest foreign exchange earners. Let us make it the starting point to double the revenue that we have from tourism.”

  Comments - 11

  • Villa Thursday, 25 October 2018 07:52 AM

    He is perfectly correct. UNP brought all sandy beaches, tea plantations, sigiriya done by them. Sri Lankan food culture invented by sirikotha. Finally WAR was finished by yahapalanaya. What a achievement.

    nsathees Thursday, 25 October 2018 08:01 AM

    Unless Mahendran is brought down here, it's the end for you Sir.

    ANTON Thursday, 25 October 2018 08:02 AM

    ACTUAL MEANING OF HIS SPEECH ........" THANK GOD, I CAN GET SOME VOTES"

    Ram Thursday, 25 October 2018 08:11 AM

    Please do not take credit for what the Tourism sector has done and achieved and please do not state as if this is going to change the current dire state we are in. John Amaratunga's campaign with CNN has not yield any result yet. Please state 3 things you all did for this sector since 2015 as mentioned here ?...May be i think i am so ignorant not to know....

    Nihal Thursday, 25 October 2018 08:19 AM

    FOR TOURISM PROMOTION BILLIONS OF MONEY HAVE BEEN SPEND BY TOURISM MINISTER JOHN AMARATINGA BWE WSNT TO KNOW THAT MONEY BEEN SPEND CORRECT WAY THERE IS ZERO RESULTS AFTER SPENDING BILLIONS OF USD WHO IS RESPONSIBL NOW AGAIN MILLIONS OF MONEY HAS GIVEN TO FOREIGN COMPANY TO PROMOTE TOURISM

    Middle Class Hindu Jaffna Tamil Thursday, 25 October 2018 08:36 AM

    All this is possible because Mahinda Rajapaksa eradicated the LTTE terror boys.

    Sunil Thursday, 25 October 2018 09:11 AM

    This is the starting point and the end as well. Government will do exactly nothing. RW is living in a dream world of his own.

    Saman Thursday, 25 October 2018 09:11 AM

    RW or the government has nothing to do with this. One should look into the other 9 nations listed and most of them are relatively poor countries where travelers can go on budget.

    thushan Thursday, 25 October 2018 04:29 PM

    US $ 2 million was gifted to JWT just to get a 3 letter Tag line, wonder how much was gifted to Lonely Planet in order to be ranked as No. 01..

    GH Thursday, 25 October 2018 05:56 PM

    No.......No.......No.............this is really a beginning of the END.

    Palugaswewa Friday, 26 October 2018 11:07 AM

    Pl.do not keep on filling the media with your rubbish stories. Tourism and other industries existed in SL long before you became the PM. Of course, you get a credit for establishing Volkswagen Manufacturing Factory that provided 100,00 jobs. When are you going to run out of "Carrots"?


Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment


Mass sterilization narrative taking ironic turns

Contradictory developments, difficulties in proving charges, glaring conflict

Global waste trade Is Sri Lanka the newest waste dumping ground

When it comes to handling waste, Sri Lanka stands at a primitive level. Or so

Coping with yet Another Dengue Outbreak !

After a particularly hot and humid May this year, many Sri Lankans would have