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Cabinet nod for tourism sector to import 1000 vehicles

3 April 2024 02:04 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • Approval given to import 750 vans, and 250 buses

Sri Lanka’s tourism sector will be able to improve the quality of transportation services to international visitors as it will soon be able to import 1,000 vehicles.


The Cabinet of Ministers this week approved the proposal put forward by the Minister of Tourism and Lands to import 750 vans with a seating capacity of 6-15 (electric and hybrid) and 250 buses with a seating capacity of 6 — 30 which are small buses and larger buses with a seating capacity of 30 - 45. According to a statement by the Department of Government Information, there will be no special tax relief granted for the importation.
The proposal to allow the importation of vehicles for tourism was put forward after industry stakeholders repeatedly stressed the need for a better, improved, and well-conditioned fleet.


It is considered a custom within the tourism industry that vehicles engaged in tourism for the transportation of international visitors would not be used for more than six years. 
However, the existing fleet could not be replaced due to the import restriction imposed on vehicles in the country a few years ago to help retain the then fast-depleting foreign exchange.


“It is apparent that the condition of the vehicles used in the tourism industry for transportation is not satisfactory and sufficient, and the fame earned by Sri Lanka as a prominent tourist destination is tarnished due to usage of age-old vehicles as a result of limitation of vehicles and essential spare parts,” the Government Information Department said in a statement entailing the Cabinet decisions for the week.


It added that accordingly, the requirement of importing vehicles essential for enhancing the industry has been recognised considering the contribution of the tourist industry to the economic revival of the country. 

 


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