Sri Lanka to declare 2022 as “Visit Sri Lanka Year” to revive tourism industry
COLOMBO — The Sri Lankan government is all set to declare 2022 as the “Visit Sri Lanka Year” in line with the integrated five-year Global Communication Campaign (GCC), as its aims to attract 6 million tourists and 10 billion U.S. dollars in earnings by 2025 despite the challenges by the COVID-19 virus, local media reported Wednesday.
“As per our pre-COVID plan, it is critical to embark on an effective and holistic destination marketing campaign. This targeted program will not be altered even amidst the pandemic challenges,” Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga was quoted by local media as saying.
The minister said Sri Lanka aims to generate 10 billion U.S. dollars in income by attracting 6 million tourists by 2025, as set by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his policy statement of “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour.”
Sri Lanka’s tourism sector has been recognized as a thrust sector to rebuild the economy and was identified as an export sector.
According to official statistics, 101,872 tourists arrived from Jan. 1 to Nov. 28, which included 41,177 tourists that arrived in the country this month.
Tourism was one of the worst-hit industries by the pandemic in Sri Lanka with the livelihoods of nearly 4 million people, directly and indirectly, affected by the lockdowns and the closing of borders.