COLOMBO, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's Tourism Ministry, on Friday, launched a two day special program to celebrate World Tourism Day in order to promote the sector in international markets.
World Tourism Day was celebrated this year under the theme "Tourism and Jobs, A better future for all."
The two day special program was launched by Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs Minister, John Amaratunga in the presence of public and private sector officials and diplomats.
The special program includes a two day exhibition, job fair, food street and an entertainment program.
Speaking at the launch, Amaratunga said this year, the World Tourism Day is of greater significance for Sri Lanka following the Easter Sunday bombings which severely impacted the tourism industry.
"Sri Lanka which has experienced both the ups and downs of tourism has the potential to be a case study for the global tourism industry," Amaratunga said.
Amaratunga added that this year, World Tourism Day events will be held in three different tourism hotspots in the country, namely capital Colombo, Bentota and Arugam Bay in the south.
"It is my hope that this special day will help enlighten society at large on the importance of the tourism industry for our economy where nearly 2 million people are estimated to be directly and indirectly dependent on it, accounting for over 5 percent of the country's GDP," the minister said.
World Tourism Day was declared by the United Nations World Tourism Organization to promote sustainable, responsible and universally accessible tourism across the globe.
The event is intended to raise awareness among the international communities on social, cultural political and financial dimensions as well as to the contribution the sector can make to reach the sustainable development goals.