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Tourism authorities to approach ADB, WB for financial assistance

Sri Lanka’s tourism authorities plan to approach multilateral donor agencies, including the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank (WB), to obtain financial assistance for the crisis-hit tourism industry.

Tourism and Lands Minister Harin Fernando revealed that the government is considering approaching ADB to obtain financial assistance for the tourism industry, based on a proposal submitted by the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO).

As of now, the loan moratorium given to the tourism industry is over Rs.500 billion, significantly up from Rs.200 billion in 2020. The moratorium, which was originally granted following the Easter Sunday attacks, is set to expire on June 30. With the current economic and political crises and effects of the Ukraine-Russia war, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has yet again entered into a crisis period.

“The SLAITO has come up with a good proposal, where we can go to ADB to seek assistance. But, for that we need to get the IMF programme implemented in the country; it will take minimum of two to three months,”
Fernando said. The SLAITO and The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) have already requested for an extension to the moratorium. Further, interest waivers and a debt restructuring programme have also been proposed.