Financial Times

Tourism Ministry seeking international donor support

The Ministry of Tourism has commenced an aggressive strategy to seek international donor support for the tourism industry in Sri Lanka.

According to a press release issued this week, the Ministry has already secured US$30 million from Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and is in an advanced stage of discussions with the World Bank and other multilateral and bilateral donors to obtain further funding.

A Ministry spokesman said the aim is to secure funding to build capacity in the tourism sector and to safeguard the livelihoods of so many Sri Lankan families. "We are sure that our friends in the international community will understand the significance of this support and we are confident that we will be able to announce even more good news in the months ahead."

Apart from being the fourth most important earner of foreign exchange, the tourism industry also employs both directly and indirectly about 150,000 people, the press release stated. Meanwhile, the Ministry is securing advisory services through foreign donor support. The first of such consultants to be provided, entirely funded by the Commonwealth Secretariat is John Earl, a communications consultant currently working on strategic matters with the Ministry.

Mr Earl’s appointment was reported in The Sunday Times last week. (NG)
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