Connect with us

news

Sri Lanka expects tourists from Germany, Dubai as airports re-open

Published

on

Sri Lanka is expecting the first tourists from Germany and Dubai after Colombo and Mattala airports re-opened for tourists from January 21, with a daily ceiling of 2,500 tourists raising the possibility of getting a million visitors in 2021, officials said.

The Department of Immigration had issue 75 visas on the first few hours of January 21 for tourists, from America, Germany, the Middle East and China, Sri Lanka Tourism chief Kimarli Fernando said.

“The first guests are coming on SriLankan and Qatar from Germany,” Fernando said. “We are bringing via Emirates from Dubai. Not big numbers but we have to make a start.”

Based on the daily ceiling of 2,500 passengers, about a million tourists was a possibility for 2021 Fernando said, as numbers pick up, though no specific target had been set.

SriLankan Airlines is planning to start flights to Moscow in a bid to capture the tail end of the winter season in February, Chairman Ashok Pathirage said.

He said already about 30 passengers per flight were seen placing bookings.

Sri Lanka is allocating the 2,500 tourists among nine scheduled carriers, with SriLankan Airlines, which is operating the most flights a day getting the biggest allocation.

“We will manage it dynamically,” Director General of Civil Aviation Themiya Abeywickrema said.

SriLankan, Qatar, Etihad, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, China Eastern, Oman Airlines, Singapore and

Kuwait Airways, which have been flying to Sri Lanka before the Covid-19 pandemic are resuming operations.

Maldivian and Ethiopian Airlines had also been given the go ahead. New airlines from Pakistan, Bangladesh had also applied.

“We are getting bookings. It will be small at the beginning,” Emirates Country Manager for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Chandana De Silva said.

May be about 80 passengers but we expect it to improve. We are not expecting overnight 200 to 300 passengers a flight. We may get about 40 to 50 a flight initially. We will co-ordinate with airport to manage the daily ceiling.”

Sri Lanka Tourism had certified about 150 hotels as ‘safe and secure’ with training given on how to handle tourists and take action. About 50 hotels have so far signed up to receive foreign tourists so far.

A hotel that houses foreigners cannot get local guests nor have banquets.

“We are trying to stop tourists from bringing Coronavirus to the community and from the community passing the virus to tourists,” Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said.

Sri Lanka is requiring all tourists to undergo a PCR test 96 hours before arrival. In Sri Lanka a test will be taken before arrival and another two based on how long they stay.

Fernando said there were concerns over upfront costs but at the moment the health protocol required the tests.

Sri Lanka Tourism has negotiated a price of 7,500 rupees per test from private hotels. Tourists also have to take a 12 dollar Covid-19 insurance cover of 50,000 which will cover the cost of ambulances, a hospital stay or in the worst case funeral costs. (ECONOMYNEXT)



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

news

SL gets Rs 452 mn for saving ill-fated tanker: Rs. 3.4 bn asked for

Published

on

By Ifham Nizam and Rathindra Kuruwita

The Marine Enviro-nment Protection Authority (MEPA) yesterday received Rs. 452 million from London for having saved MT New Diamond, a super oil tanker that caught fire in the Sri Lanka’s territorial waters last year.

MEPA General Manager, Dr. P. B. Terney Pradeep Kumara told The Island that Rs. 442 million had come for the services rendered by the Sri Lanka Navy, MEPA and Rs. 10 million by way of a fine imposed on the Ship’s Captain.

However, Sri Lanka has to receive a much larger amount for the damage caused to the marine environment, Dr. Kumara said. Following the incident, Sri Lankan authorities filed charges against the Captain of the ill-fated vessel and made a claim for $2.4 million from the ship’s owners for the firefighting and pollution prevention efforts.

Twenty experts from the Universities of Moratuwa, Ruhuna and Sri Jayewardenepura submitted their recommendations as regards the damage to the environment, to the Attorney General. Based on the report, the Attorney General’s Department had asked for Rs. 3.4 billion (around USD 19 million) as compensation for environmental damage, the Coordinating Officer for the Attorney General, state counsel Nishara Jayaratne said.

Soon they would have discussions with the lawyers of the shipping agent concerned on compensation for environmental damage caused, she said.

Dr. Kumara, who is the former Head of the Department of Oceanography/Marine Geology of the Ruhuna University, said that the incident had caused deaths among marine species due to spillage of some toxic fuel from the vessel.

The MT New Diamond crude oil tanker was transporting 270,000 MT oil from the port of Meena Al Ahmadi in Kuwait to the Port of Paradip in India when a fire broke out in its engine room as the vessel was passing the eastern seas of Sri Lanka on September 3, 2020.

Continue Reading

news

PSC on gender equality meets for the first time

Published

on

State Minister, Fernandopulle flanked by two other PSC members

Special attention on microfinance

The Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to further gender equality, to investigate instances of discrimination against women and to present recommendations to Parliament, focused on microfinance loans that are currently affecting a large number of women in Sri Lanka, when they met for the first time in Parliament recently.

The meeting was chaired by the State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID-19 Disease Control Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle.

It was also revealed that the Cabinet had approved the re-establishment of an institution to regulate Microfinance loans in Sri Lanka.

The MPs also discussed the role of the Select Committee. They decided that the primary role of the Committee should be to investigate women’s grievances and all forms of discrimination based on gender, including workplace violence.

Another task before this committee is to examine and review laws that can be used to enhance gender equality, encourage relevant ministries and authorities to formulate plans to further gender equality and to allocate financial resources.

The Committee will also try to encourage greater women’s representation in decision-making bodies at the national and provincial levels as well as in government, civil society and the private sector.

MPs Rohini Kaviratne, (Dr.) Harini Amarasuriya, M. Udayakumar, S. Sritharan, Rohana Bandara and the Secretary to the Committee, Deputy Secretary General and Chief of Staff of the Parliament Kushani Rohanadheera were also present at the meeting.

 

 

Continue Reading

news

A/L Examination from October 04 to 30

Published

on

The 2021 GCE Advanced Level examination would be held from October 4 to 30, Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said yesterday addressing the media at his Ministry.

Minister Peiris said the examination was earlier scheduled to be held in August.

The Grade 5 scholarship examination would be held on October 03 and the 2021 GCE Ordinary Level (O/L) examination in the last week of January 2022, the Minister said.

“Usually, schools are open for academic activities for around 200 days a year. But in 2020, schools were open for about 150 days. It was around 130 days in the Western Province. We were not able to fill this gap with online classes due to lack of internet facilities in many parts of the country,” he said.

Continue Reading

Trending