Rs. 420 mn revenue from tourist pilot project: Minister

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A revenue of Rs. 420 million has been earned through the pilot project for the opening of the country to Ukrainian tourists since December 26, 2020 up to date, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said.

He said nearly 1,500 tourists from Ukraine have arrived in the country during the period.

Minister Ranatunga emphasised that all measures have been taken to open the country to tourists from next Thursday (21) in accordance with the health guidelines.

He said at a media briefing that all possible steps have been taken to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 to the local community and tourists.

“All the shortcomings and problems identified in the pilot project have been rectified and all steps have been taken to bring tourists to the country in accordance with the health guidelines,” he said.

The Minister said that about 180 hotels have been identified to provide accommodation to tourists visiting the country.

Tourists arriving in the country after the 21st of this month are expected to continue as a bio-bubble.

“Only tourists who have been confirmed negative for Covid-19 will be allowed to enter the country. Tourists will be subjected to another PCR test on their arrival. They will be staying at their respective hotels until PCR results are released. The tourists will have to undergo another PCR test with 5 to 7 days,” the Minister said.

Minister Ranatunga said that the staff of hotels where tourists visit are also part of the tourist bubble and they too do not have the opportunity to interact with the general public.

Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that a large number of people have been affected by the collapse of the tourism industry.

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