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Tourism Cess fund for leisure industry development

FUND: Minister of Tourism, Anura Bandaranaike will take action to collect the CESS fund which is now with the government Treasury. A sum of over Rs. 300 million collected in the form of cess from tourism is lying in the Treasury.

Minister who held a meeting with only the Industry members sans any government officials promised he would take up this matter soon and recall the money to be used for the development of tourism.

The cess fund was collected from hoteliers, travel agencies and also from Embarkation Tax at the Colombo international airport. "Steps should be taken to utilise this money for the development of tourism," the Minister said.

The leisure industry officials also urged the Minister to fast track the implementation of the Tourism Act, which has already been passed by the Parliament and the Minister promised to implement the Act as soon as possible which would iron out many problems facing the industry today.

The members of the industry also pointed out that better marketing tools are needed to promote the country internationally. He also promised to look into this.

The Minister was also asked to play a prominent part at the forthcoming World Travel Market in London from November 6 to 9 and requested the Minister to address the international media.

The Minister also promised to take up the issue of adverse travel warnings with Ambassadors of relevant countries.

"We are happy with the outcome of this meeting," said most of the members of the trade who attend the meeting.

 

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