The president wants to bring over 2 million visitors to Sri Lanka.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe outlined a program to attract over two million tourists to Sri Lanka which includes those willing to spend USD 500 per day.

He was speaking at a meeting with businessmen from the tourism industry in the Galle District on Thursday. It was organized on the theme “Survival and Overcoming Challenges in the Tourism Industry”.

“To achieve this goal, a committee has been appointed to implement the plan as soon as possible,” the President said.

President Wickremesinghe also announced plans to make Sri Lanka a year-round tourist destination, with measures to be taken to promote the tourism sector. The President acknowledged the challenges in the tourism sector due to the recent economic downturn. However, he reassured the attendees that a planned program is being implemented to revitalise the sector.

He said that street violence drives away tourists and the arrival number had dropped following the protests in May and June last year. To attract tourists back to Sri Lanka, he emphasised the need to demonstrate that law and order has been restored in the country.

The President stressed the importance of better publicity regarding Sri Lanka to the rest of the world. “The recent Independence Day celebrations demonstrated that law and order had been stabilised in the country.”

Minister of Tourism Harin Fernando said that Sri Lanka has attracted over 100,000 tourists this year and this was a positive signal.

“At the time of taking over the country, Emirates Airlines carried out flights to Colombo using only one aircraft. Today it has increased to four and this shows the confidence the tourists have to travel to Sri Lanka

“To promote tourism airplane seats should be sold and this is happening now. The other factor that attracts tourists to this country is entertainment and we should introduce all-night activities,” he said.

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