The Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka, jointly with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, organized a virtual business to business (B2B) interactive session on 17 August, with the Member States of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) to enhance tourism cooperation.
About 100 tourism industry experts representing the public and private sector from 27 CICA member states participated in the webinar. The discussions focused on the importance and benefits of international collective efforts and joint endeavors in building a more resilient and sustainable tourism sector in the post-pandemic era.
Delivering the opening remarks, State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya, stressed that the Government of Sri Lanka had demonstrated its unwavering dedication and sheer commitment consistently despite the worrying economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. He stated that the Government of Sri Lanka was working with all the international organizations and friendly governments, including the CICA member states, to defeat the pandemic and uphold the economic and social development aspirations of its peoples, to which the revival of the tourism industry would play a key role.
Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando in her keynote speech highlighted that Sri Lanka has all the attributes to position itself as a perfect post-pandemic travel destination with its wide-open spaces and a multitude of nature-based experiences. She also spoke extensively on Sri Lanka’s rich experiences and initiatives relevant to the revival of the tourism industry in the island nation during and in the post-pandemic era.
Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) Past President Mahen Kariyawasan, Association for Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism (ASMET) President Rohan Abeywickrema and Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) President Sanath Ukwatte also addressed the session. The session was moderated by Sri Lanka Tourism Marketing Director Dushan Wickremasuriya.
While sharing their experience and expertise on the subject, the global industry experts participating in the webinar agreed to develop a road map conceptualizing the way forward for tourism revival within the CICA region in the post-COVID context.
CICA is a multinational forum of 27 member states formed for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security, and stability in Asia. Sri Lanka obtained full membership of CICA in 2018 and currently serves as the co-coordinator for Confidence Building Measures in Tourism.
Source: Sri Lanka takes lead in revitalizing regional and domestic tourism amid pandemic.