UNDP and Ministry of Tourism partner with EU to revitalize SL tourism industry – Business News



Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Head of Cooperation Jenny Correia Nunes, Resident Representative of UNDP Sri Lanka Robert Juhkam and Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism
S. Hettiarachchi

  • The strengthening of the tourism policy framework is a key result expected from the initiative
  • Collaboration signifies critical importance of tourism to post-COVID economic recovery

Recognizing the need to revitalize Sri Lanka’s tourism industry affected by COVID-19, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Sri Lanka have come together to assist the government and the people of Sri Lanka to rebuild tourism as a resilient and sustainable sector through the project “Transforming Tourism in Sri Lanka: Emerging from the Crisis as a Strong, Resurgent and Renowned Industry”.

One of the main expected outcomes of this initiative is to strengthen the tourism policy framework and institutional capacity at the national level, providing vital policy direction to rebuild, recover and trigger transformational change for more sustainable and inclusive tourism. in the island. The tourism policy project aims to create a unique tourism experience for travelers to Sri Lanka and to create sustainable and inclusive benefits for all players in the tourism industry. This in turn will help protect Sri Lanka’s best features, natural resources, culture and history while benefiting local communities, bringing us closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals – leaving no one behind.

To this end, the Ministry of Tourism, in accordance with the recently released draft national tourism policy and the public call for comments on the draft, held a meeting yesterday to discuss the commitment of the EU and UNDP to support tourism, in particular, in the implementation of the national tourism policy.

The meeting was chaired by the Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, S. Hettiarachchi, with the participation of the Delegation of the European Union in Sri Lanka and the Chief of Cooperation of the Maldives Jenny Correia Nunes and the Resident Representative of UNDP in Sri Lanka , Robert Juhkam. Also present at the meeting were the Director General of Planning of the Ministry of Tourism, Suranga Vithanage, the Director General of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Dhammika Wijayasinghe, and members of the Tourism Working Group. Speaking at the meeting on the importance of national tourism policy, Hettiarachchi said: “Due to the nature of the tourism industry, developing policies after consulting the diversity of stakeholders ensures a lasting solution which is beneficial for Sri Lanka to unleash its true potential. in the development of tourism. The Ministry of Tourism looks forward to collaborating and working closely with all other relevant ministries, to create a more resilient tourism industry. Reiterating the EU’s support, Nunes said: “The EU has supported Sri Lanka in a number of sectors including rural development, private sector support, justice and social inclusion. In response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now also focusing on tourism, as we see the great potential and added value that it brings in terms of holistic economic and social development for the country and its regions. citizens. Highlighting UNDP’s overall support for the revival of tourism, Juhkam said, “UNDP has helped bring together multiple stakeholders to broaden the consultative process, thereby bridging opportunities and ensuring the inclusion of sustainable tourism revival in the region. Sri Lanka. The creation of this platform for key associations, communities, private sector and government entities at national and subnational levels to provide their recommendations has significantly strengthened the draft national tourism policy. UNDP looks forward to helping the ministry continue this consultative platform to promote the implementation of the policy’s social, economic and environmental sustainability goals in the years to come. The collaboration between the EU and UNDP demonstrates the critical importance of tourism to Sri Lanka’s economic recovery after COVID-19. The Tourism Transformation Project will aim to meet the urgent needs of the industry, strengthening the institutional framework and the capacity to put it on the path to a greener and more resilient future.


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