Sri Lanka supports tourism sector - GulfToday

Sri Lanka supports tourism sector


Officials help tourists at an airport in Katunayake, Sri Lanka. File/Reuters

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has decided to extend a debt moratorium for the country’s crisis-hit tourism sector by six months. A debt moratorium on capital and interest for Sri Lanka’s tourism sector which was initiated in April 2019 in the wake of the Easter attacks and expected to expire on September 30, has been extended until March 31 2021, a news agency quoted the CBSL as saying on Friday.

The CBSL requested licensed commercial banks and licensed specialized banks to provide moratoriums following representations made by the Ministry of Tourism and in light of the ongoing effects of the pandemic on tourism-related businesses.

Tourism industry stakeholders, including The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) and Colombo City Hotels Association (CCHA), welcomed the moratorium extension, citing difficulties faced in the wake of the 2019 Easter attacks and the pandemic.

Sri Lanka’s international airports remain closed to foreign tourists, with zero arrivals recorded since May, as the government continues to keep a tight lid in order to eradicate the pandemic.

The new Sri Lankan government is aiming to boost exports this year as at least four state ministers have been appointed to develop key local products such as gems, batiks, coconut, rubber and tea, media reports said on Friday.

Meanwhile, Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Prabhash Subasinghe was quoted in the local Daily FT as saying that sector-specific state ministers/ministries had amplified the importance of the export sector and that they look forward to working with all line ministries to boost merchandised exports, reports Xinhua news agency.

Indo-Asian News Service

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