Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga says that with the control of the Covid epidemic, Sri Lanka will be popularized around the world as an attractive tourist destination. He points out that the necessary action plan has already been prepared for that. He was speaking at a meeting with Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Mr.David Holly at the Ministry of Tourism on the 16th.Minister Prasanna Ranatunga pointed out that the government's goal was to attract 07 million tourists annually and add US $ 10 billion annually to the national economy. He pointed out that even in the presence of Covid, he expects to achieve that goal.
The Australian High Commissioner said that Australian tourists as well as investors in Sri Lanka are more interested in coming and investing in Sri Lanka and assured the Australian Government of its full support for the development of Sri Lanka's tourism and investment sectors.
The Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka said that with the intervention of the Australian Government, it is expected to allocate 25 million Australian dollars next year for the current active enterprise development project in the Eastern Province. He also said that this will implement special projects for the women and youth of the area.
Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism Mr.S. Hettiarachchi, Secretary to the Ministry of State Mr.Madhava Devasurendra, Second Secretary to the Australian High Commission Mr.Danley Cashen and Senior Project Officer Mr.Sivasudhan Ramanathan also participated in the discussion.

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The United Nations says it fully supports the development of Sri Lanka's tourism industry, which has been hit hard by the Corona epidemic. The organization has already submitted the relevant proposals to the Tourism Development Authority.
This was emphasized during a special discussion with Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga and UN Permanent Representative to Sri Lanka Hannah Singer on Wednesday(14) . The discussion was held at the office of the Ministry of Tourism.
Ms. Hannah Singer said that she also supports the implementation of a social attraction program for those involved in the tourism industry. Minister Prasanna Ranatunga stated that the government has already paid attention to this matter. The Minister also said that the Tourism Development Authority has drawn its attention to the United Nations' proposal to uplift the tourism industry.
Minister Prasanna Ranatunga pointed out that the government is planning to attract tourists to Sri Lanka in groups according to health recommendations after Kovid's rule, adding that the government is doing its utmost to control the third wave of Kovid. UN envoy to Sri Lanka Hannah Singer expressed her gratitude to the government for its efforts to control Kovid 19. The two sides also discussed at length the assistance being provided by the International Labor Organization and the International Organization for Migration in the fields of tourism and aviation.
Mr.Sarath Dash, Head of Sri Lanka and Maldives, International Organization for Migration,Mr. S. Hettiarachchi, Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism and Mr.Madhava Devasurendra, Secretary to the Ministry of State also participated in the discussion.

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Haggala Botanic Gardens was established in the year 1861 by the Ministry of Tourism. The Haggala Reserve is located on about 300 acres of the Haggala Botanic Gardens covering an area of ​​500 acres. It is said that the Haggala Botanic Gardens, which started with the cultivation of cinchona, is also a place where research was done on coffee and tea, two of the main plantations in the country.

Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) and Australia’s Market Development Facility (MDF) have joined hands to develop a research roadmap to facilitate Sri Lanka’s position as Asia’s foremost tourism destination. The roadmap will pave the way for better understanding of the visitors who come to Sri Lanka and assist the public and private sectors in making evidence-based decisions and investments in tourism. This is the first time a thorough analysis has been undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of the data collection efforts by SLTDA and its usage. 

Hon. Prasanna Ranatunga planted a "Mihiriya" tree(Gordonia axillaris theaceae) to commemorate the occasion during his visit to the Hakgala Botanic Gardens.

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