UNDP, Ministry of Tourism and the EU partner to support revitalization of Tourism Industry | Daily News

UNDP, Ministry of Tourism and the EU partner to support revitalization of Tourism Industry

Recognizing the need to revitalise tourism, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka have come together to support the Government and people of Sri Lanka to build back tourism as a resilient and sustainable sector through the ‘Transforming Tourism in Sri Lanka: Emerging from Crisis as a Strong, Resurgent and Rebranded Industry’ project.A key expected outcome of this initiative is to strengthen the tourism policy framework and institutional capacity at national level, providing vital policy direction to rebuild, recover and trigger transformational change for more sustainable and inclusive tourism in the island.

This in turn will aid in protecting Sri Lanka’s best features; its natural resources, culture and history while benefitting local communities, taking us a step closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals - leaving no one behind.

To this end, the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), in line with the recently published draft National Tourism Policy and public call for comments to the draft, held a meeting yesterday to discuss the engagement of the EU and UNDP in supporting tourism, particularly, in the implementation of the National Tourism Policy.

Speaking at the meeting on the importance of the National Tourism Policy, S. Hettiarachchi, Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism stated, “The Ministry of Tourism looks forward to cross-collaborating and working closely with all other relevant ministries, in order to create a more resilient tourism industry.”Reiterating the EU’s support, Jenny Correia Nunes, Head of the Development Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives stated, “The EU has been supporting 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 value addition it brings in terms of holistic economic and social development for the country and its citizens.”Highlighting UNDP’s overall support to tourism recovery, Robert Juhkam, Resident Representative of UNDP in Sri Lanka stated, “UNDP helped bring together multiple stakeholders to widen the consultative process, importantly bridging perspectives and ensuring inclusiveness of Sri Lanka’s sustainable tourism revival.

Creating this platform for key associations, communities, private sector and government entities at the national and sub-national level to provide their recommendations has significantly strengthened the draft National Tourism Policy.”The collaboration between the EU and UNDP signifies the critical importance of tourism to Sri Lanka’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery. Caption: Participants at the event.

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