Sri Lanka Tourism will soon formulate a US $ 100 million insurance fund to pay compensation to any tourist who suffers injury or death while visiting Sri Lanka, said Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga. The Minister said that they will offer this tourism insurance scheme with Sri Lanka Insurance.
Amaratunge said that due to travel advisories from 38 countries in the aftermath of Easter Sunday bombings on April 21, tourists who visit Sri Lanka are not eligible to receive insurance from their respective countries. Therefore we have now decided to launch a special insurance scheme to pay compensation claims for tourists from US$ 100,000 to 250, 000,” the Minister said.
Amaratunge once again assured that the security forces have given a guarantee that the terrorism threat has now been neutralized and Sri Lanka is a safe place to travel. “We see around 2,000 tourists still visiting Sri Lanka on a daily basis. We are now once again talking to foreign embassies in a bid to tone down some of the travel advisories,” he said.
The Minister also said that several MICE events planned in Sri Lanka will be held this year and Sri Lanka Tourism will participate in 38 international travel fairs and 18 road shows in 2019 to boost the image of Sri Lankan Tourism. He thanked President of Universal Federation of Travel Agents Association (UFTAA) Sunil Kumar and Chairman, Travel Agents Association of Sri Lanka (THASL), Trevor Rajaratnam for showing solidarity with Sri Lanka by advancing the hosting of their AGM in Sri Lanka.
“Usually we hold this AGM in end August but will now host this in June on a request made by THASL to send a signal that Sri Lanka is a safe place to visit,” said UFTAA, President, Sunil Kumar. He said they have also done similar events in Turkey and other countries whenever tourism was threatened by terrorism. “Representatives of over 30 countries will attend this event and we will host this event in one of the three hotels affected from the Easter Sunday bomb blasts,” said Trevor Rajaratnam.
UFTAA established in Brussels in 1919 is an association of travel agents and tour operators and is one of the largest organization in the field of travel and tourism industry in the world. Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau /Tourism Development Authority Kishu Gomes, said that he was happy with the current security situation in the country and assured that there will be no more coordinated attacks by terrorists in Sri Lanka. “The hosting the UFTAA AGM in Colombo will take a strong message to the world in terms of security environment and Sri Lankan Tourism is ready to welcome and delight global tourists.”