Tourism Chief unaware of Ukrainian tourists' travel itinerary in SL

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Chairman Kimarli Fernando said that that the SLTDA was unaware that a group of tourists from the Ukraine went on excursions to Mirissa for Whale watching and Yala.


In a letter to Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, she said that “Through the media, we came to know that a group of tourists from the Ukrainian arrivals went on excursions to Mirissa for whale watching and Yala.”

She said the agreement at the Task Force Meeting was for the tour organisers to provide Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) detailed itineraries in advance, including details of the drivers and guides who would be involved in these excursions, to be relayed to the regional health authorities for screening and quarantine purposes.


The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Director-General has tried to obtain the necessary information in this regard from the travel agents to no avail.


“We have heard that private boats are taking the tourists for whale watching and 28 safari jeeps would be taking them inside Yala,” she said.


“However, to this moment we have not received any of the above information from the promoter of this project nor the travel agents concerned. We are gravely concerned and seek your urgent intervention as when we requested information it was informed that he is working with the Presidential Task Force,” she stated.


She also stated that the Presidential Taskforce has informed the health officials and COVID Task Force in this regard and that the necessary protocols are being followed.


“It is, as you know, expected that all details related to excursions are provided to us before the commencement of such tours to enable us to keep the Ministry of Health and COVID Task Force informed,” she added.

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