Expo 2020 Sri Lanka National Day highlights Sri Lanka’s post-pandemic tourism roadmap
- Announces the destination is welcoming vaccinated as well as non-vaccinated tourists
- Travel health & safety protocols implanted in line with the World Health Organization (WHO)
- Awarded the ‘Safe Travel Stamp’ by the World Travel and Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and World Travel & Tourism Council
Buoyed on by a steady increase in tourist arrivals, Sri Lanka, with confidence and pride, presented the country’s tourism roadmap on the Expo 2020 Sri Lanka National Day which was celebrated on Monday, 03 January 2022, at the Expo Media Centre in Dubai.
Expo 2020 Sri Lanka National Day was led by Honourable G. L. Peiris, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honourable Prasanna Ranatunga, the Minister of Tourism & Aviation and Kimarli Fernando, Chairperson of Sri Lanka Tourism and Commissioner General for EXPO 2020 Dubai. The event shed light on Sri Lanka’s readiness for growth and revival of the Tourism industry post-pandemic. In addition, the National Day attracted visitors with colourful cultural performances performed at the Al Wasl Plaza situated at the Stage of Nations.
Inbound tourism in Sri Lanka is booming due to the successful implementation of the vaccination programme. As a result, the country is witnessing a decline in COVID-19 infections, with over 85% of the eligible population from Sri Lanka’s 21.9 million being vaccinated. In addition, the administering of booster Pfizer vaccines is rapidly progressing, with priority being given to personnel from the travel industry.
During the event, Kimarli Fernando quoted, “Sri Lanka has recovered post-pandemic with confidence, and the country is now steadily moving forward, prioritising its tourism sector in the interests of the country and travel-hungry tourists. We are honoured to be awarded the ‘Safe Travel Stamp’ by the World Travel and Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and World Travel & Tourism Council in 2021.”
The destination is fully operational and delighting vaccinated as well as non-vaccinated tourists, with a set of health & safety protocols to follow:
- Vaccinated travellers do not need on-arrival PCR tests and can stay at any type of accommodation.
- Not-vaccinated travellers need a Covid-19 test at the arrival and must stay in a ‘Flexible bio-bubble’ with all facilities of the hotels made available and the ability to visit approved tourist sites.
- All visitors must pay local Covid-19 insurance of 12 USD with one month cover of 50,000 USD
Sri Lanka’s large forest cover accounts for around 30% of its landmass, and with waterways hidden inland, the country is a haven for those seeking to connect with their inner self to heal from the stresses of modern living. Recognised as one of the World’s Top Wellness Destinations in 2021 by the Global Wellness Institute, Sri Lanka is the perfect Wellness Getaway destination with Ayurveda treatment and Yoga meditation offered by most tourist resorts. In addition, there are forest lodges and hermitages where one can truly relax and find solace in being one with nature.
“As a pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka has unique cultural and geological features. Our country has shining blue water beaches, rich cultural heritage, National Parks and avenues for Adventurous outings. A holiday in Sri Lanka is no longer an on-screen experience due to a pandemic. We are open and greeting visitors with a warm Ayubowan!” added Kimarli Fernando to conclude the event.
Travellers planning a holiday to Sri Lanka can visit the Sri Lanka Pavilion in the Opportunity District at EXPO 2020 Dubai for more information and guidance. Visitors at the Pavilion can also relish a world-famous Ceylon Tea served with warm hospitality. Further, the Pavilion offers attractive prizes through a raffle draw, including airline tickets to Sri Lanka courtesy of Sri Lankan Airlines and exquisite gem-studded jewellery through Gem and Jewelry Authority.