Sri Lanka ready to open airports for tourism if vaccine successful

Sri Lanka will consider opening its airports for tourism if the United Kingdom and Europe successfully initiate the coronavirus vaccination process.

Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga said that Sri Lanka and the world will be able to benefit from the vaccine, if it is successful.

The Minister said this at the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Tourism when MP Premitha Bandara Tennakoon brought before the committee the news that UK has been declared as the 1st country to approve Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine soon to be followed by Europe and the US.

The MP highlighted that with the availability of a vaccine, tourists will be able to fly to destinations and thus Sri Lanka tourism should look to benefit from it.

The Ministerial Consultative Committee chaired by Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga was attended by 18 Members of Parliament, including Geetha Kumarasinghe, Diana Gamage, M. Udayakumar, Chandima Weerakkody, Shanakiyan Rasamanickam, Madura Vithanage, and Premitha Bandara Tennakoon.

Addressing the Committee, MP Gamage raised her concerns over the safety of tourists who visit the country. Responding to the concern raised, SLTDA Chair Kimarli Fernando stated that for the 1st time President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a DIG for tourism.

The SLTDA Chair also highlighted that they have created Sri Lanka’s first ever mobile app to assist tourists utilizing technology. She stated that the App consists of an “emergency button” where the location of the tourist will be shared with the nearest police station. The App Version One of the Sri Lanka Tourism Travel App is scheduled to be made available by the 3rd quarter of 2021. (Colombo Gazette)