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President Ranil Wickremesinghe Leads Observational Tour to Revitalize Sri Lanka’s Tourism Industry

In a concerted effort to rejuvenate Sri Lanka’s tourism sector, President Ranil Wickremesinghe conducted an observation tour in the Tangalle and Galle areas on February 17th, emphasizing the government’s dedication to enhancing tourist facilities.

During the tour, President Wickremesinghe visited multiple tourist hotels, actively engaging with owners to gain firsthand insights into the challenges they face. Demonstrating swift responsiveness, the President promptly addressed concerns raised by the business community. He liaised with relevant officials over the phone, devising solutions and seeking input on strategies for the development of the industry, as reported by the President’s Media Division (PMD).

The tourism sector in Sri Lanka experienced a significant downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic challenges. However, with the implementation of new government initiatives, there has been a noteworthy surge in tourist arrivals. In 2023 alone, 1,489,000 tourists visited Sri Lanka, marking a twofold increase from the previous year. Building on this momentum, the government aims to surpass the peak of 2.5 million tourists in 2017, with plans underway to achieve this milestone by 2024.

To attract high-end tourists spending $500 a day, the government has initiated infrastructure development projects and innovative tourism promotion programs. President Wickremesinghe exchanged ideas with the business community on these initiatives, receiving positive feedback on the transformative impact of the government’s programs on their operations.

The President’s itinerary included visits to tourist hotspots such as Seenimodara, Dikwella, Nilwella, Hiriketiya, Weligama, and Habaraduwa, as well as the Weligama Surf School along the south coast, where he assessed their activities firsthand.

At the Unawatuna Tourism Zone, President Wickremesinghe engaged in brief conversations with foreign tourists, soliciting their perspectives on measures to further promote the tourism industry. Additionally, he interacted with local tourists at Tangalle and Galle beaches during the weekend holidays, attentively listening to their feedback and addressing their concerns.

Accompanying the President on this pivotal visit was Mr. Jeffry Dobbs, a foreigner dedicated to enhancing tourist experiences in the region for both local and international tourists. President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s tour underscores the government’s proactive approach to revitalizing Sri Lanka’s tourism sector, fostering collaboration with stakeholders, and ensuring sustainable growth in the industry.

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