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SAARC success, eye opener for tourism



SLTB Chairman Renton de Alwis

The SAARC Summit held last week in Colombo has proved that Sri Lanka is a safe destination and it is an eye opener for countries that have clamped adverse travel advisories.

Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism, Renton de Alwis said the fact that Sri Lanka hosted this summit attended by world leaders without a hiccup proved that the country is capable of hosting even bigger events.

He said that due to the SAARC, Best Air of Bangladesh too launched direct flights to Colombo. Increasing air links within the region too was discussed.

“SAARC officials also discussed inter regional tourism which would help to boost regional tourism,” he said.

Tourist Hotel Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) President Srilal Mitthapala said city hoteliers though suffered losses due to conciliation of scheduled functions they were happy for the greater cause, the success of the SAARC.

It was estimated that city hoteliers lost over Rs. 150 million due to the rescheduling of the SAARC Summit from Kandy to Colombo. “SAARC delegates also stayed in these hotels which gave them some concession,” he said.

Commenting on the travel advisories, he said the Government should use the success of the SAARC to lobby against them.

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