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Sri Lanka for Bilateral deals to boost tourism

Monday,10 Feb 2020

Colombo: The Sri Lankan Cabinet approved signing of bilateral agreements with countries including China, Pakistan and Iraq for promotion of tourism. To boost the crisis-hit sector of the country, the government expects to enter into agreements with several other countries such as South Africa and Georgia reports Daily Financial Times newspaper.

"Escalation of the coronavirus crisis could pose a negative impact on the tourism industry. But we are optimistic of signing these agreements as soon as the tourism industry in the world recovers," said  Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga. Due to the global health crisis with novel coronavirus threats, the signing could be delayed. 

Already the country signed tourism promotion agreements with India, Thailand, Seychelles, Poland, Tajikistan, Malaysia, Australia, Russia, South Korea and the Philippines. The agreements would benefit Sri Lanka as well as other countries in the event disasters hit the world Minister pointed out. India, the UK, China, Australia, Germany, the US, Maldives, France and Canada are the country's major tourism markets, and also planning to appoint destination marketing agencies based on the countries.

In 2019, Sri Lanka received a little over 1.9 million tourists. This year, the new government has aimed to attract 3 million tourists, increasing it to 10 million within five years.

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