COLOMBO, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka will implement a short term action plan to revive the country's tourism industry which has been hit by the global COVID-19 pandemic, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga was quoted by local media reports as saying on Monday.
Ranatunga said the government will allocate nearly 1 million U.S. dollars over the next four months to revive tourism and the short term action plan was being finalized.
Under the plan, 12 new tourist attraction sites identified in several districts would be developed while community tourist villages would also be developed.
Ranatunga said the action plan will also be taken to modernize the Negombo, Kandy, and Kalutara railway stations, in outer Colombo, central highlands, and the south, within the next four months under a project to upgrade the railway stations to attract local and foreign tourists.
Three old forts in Mannar, in the north, Kalpitiya, in the south, and Batticaloa, in the east which are under the supervision of the Archeology Department will also be further developed.
Nearly 500,000 tourists arrived in Sri Lanka from January to March this year after which the country's international airports were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has so far infected over 3,000 people.
The government said the airport will remain closed till such a time when repatriations are completed. Enditem