Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau (SLTPB) Kimarli Fernando invited the Australian tourists to visit Sri Lanka once again and urged the tour operators in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania to promote Sri Lanka among Australian tourists, at a webinar on 17th November, 2021.
The Chairperson said that visiting Sri Lanka is now much easier with relaxed COVID 19 regulations for fully vaccinated travelers. There is no requirement for the fully vaccinated tourists to provide on-arrival PCR tests or undergo quarantine. They are free to leave the airport and visit any part of the country as per their itinerary. The Chairperson further stated that the SLTPB has made it easier for the prospective tourists to obtain all the visitor information from one place through the online portal https://www.srilanka.travel/helloagain/.
The SLTPB Director Marketing Dushan Wickramasuriya presented the unique and diverse tourism products that Sri Lanka has to offer for the visitors.
Consul General Kapila Fonseka stated that now is the best time for the tour operators to promote Sri Lanka in the Australian market as Australia has lowered the level of travel advice on Sri Lanka and removed the restriction for the Australian tourists to visit Sri Lanka. Already, Australian tourists have started applying for tourist visas of ninety days through the Consulate General. Tourists can obtain thirty day visas on their own through the online Electronic Travel Authorization portal www.eta.gov.lk.
Manager Sri Lankan airlines – Melbourne S P Mohan presented the Sri Lankan airlines products for the Australian tourists. Frequency of the direct flights from Colombo to Melbourne and Colombo to Sydney has already been increased to three per week to each destination and the frequency is expected to increase further with the passenger numbers growing.
Speaking about the COVID safety arrangements at the Sri Lankan hotels, President of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) Sanath Ukwatte guaranteed that the hotels will provide a safe and secure service with well-trained staff. Executive Committee Member of Sri Lanka Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) Charith de Alwis and the Past President of Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism (ASMET) Rohan Abeywickrama also addressed the webinar.
Tour operators and the Sri Lankan community media fraternity in the Australian states of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania and the Sri Lanka Australia Business Council President Dilkie Perera and members also participated. The webinar was organized by the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Melbourne, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau, Sri Lankan Airlines Melbourne Office and the Sri Lanka Australia Business Council.