At a discussion held at the Tourism Ministry on Monday 10, The Minister of tourism, Prasanna Ranatunga announced that Cabinet approval has been granted to repeal the Tourism Act No. 38 of 2005 and introduce a new Tourism Act in Parliament.
The new act proposes a merger of currently divided bodies; the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority,Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, in order to minimize wastage of resources and maximize efficiency.
Industry experts are opposed to this course of action and have expressed their concerns with regards to this proposal.
Accordingly, on Monday 10 it was announced that: the new Tourism Act which is in its preliminary stage of inception, will be prepared based on suggestions of stakeholders in the tourism industry. A period of 3 months has been announced allowing for suggestions and recommendations to be made.
While minister Rantunga acknowledged the contribution of the private sector –towards the success of the tourism industry, he also expressed that the new Act is likely to attract around 7 million tourists; thereby significantly increasing foreign earnings. This will help meet the target of US $ 10 billion in foreign earnings, by 2025