President Conducts Observation Tour of Tangalle and Galle to Assess Tourism Industry Resurgence on South Coast

Amid a rejuvenated focus on revitalizing Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, President Ranil Wickremesinghe embarked on an observation tour in the Tangalle and Galle areas (17), underscoring the government’s commitment to enhancing tourist facilities.

During the tour, President Wickremesinghe visited several tourist hotels, engaging with owners to understand their challenges first hand.

Swift action was taken as the President addressed the concerns raised by the business community, liaising with relevant officials over the phone to devise solutions and gather input on industry development strategies.

The tourism sector in Sri Lanka faced a rapid downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic challenges. However, with the government’s new initiatives, there has been a significant surge in tourist arrivals. In 2023 alone, 1,489,000 tourists visited Sri Lanka, marking a twofold increase from the previous year. Building on this momentum, the government aims to surpass the peak of 2.5 million tourists in 2017, with plans underway to achieve this milestone by 2024.

In a bid to attract high-end tourists, who spend $500 a day, the government has rolled out infrastructure development projects and innovative tourism promotion programs. President Wickremesinghe exchanged ideas with the business community regarding these initiatives, receiving positive feedback on the transformative impact of the government’s programs on their operations.

The President’s itinerary included visits to tourist hotspots such as Seenimodara, Dikwella, Nilwella, Hiriketiya, Weligama, and Habaraduwa, as well as the Weligama Surf School along the south coast, where he assessed their activities firsthand.

At the Unawatuna Tourism Zone, President Wickremesinghe engaged in brief conversations with foreign tourists, soliciting their perspectives on measures to further promote the tourism industry. Additionally, he interacted with local tourists at Tangalle and Galle beaches during the weekend holidays, attentively listening to their feedback and addressing their concerns.

Accompanying the President on this pivotal visit was Mr. Jeffry Dobbs, a foreigner dedicated to enhancing tourist experiences in the region for both local and international tourists.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s tour underscores the government’s proactive approach to revitalizing Sri Lanka’s tourism sector, fostering collaboration with stakeholders and ensuring sustainable growth in the industry.