Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga says nearly 5,000 tourists have to be brought in daily in order to revive the tourism industry in the country.
Speaking to media in Colombo, Minister Ranatunga said a targeted program is being implemented to uplift the tourism industry.
The Minister said short-term resolutions are not sufficient to uplift the industry which nearly three million citizens depend on.
Responding to an allegation levelled by the Tourist Guides Association yesterday, Minister Ranatunga said there is a limit to what a government is capable of doing.
He said the tour guides must save when they receive a good income during the seasons.
Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga said not only tour guides but hotels and vehicle owners have also been affected.
The Minister claimed the government has done its best under the current economic crisis.
Meanwhile, when questioned by media on allegations pertaining to the agreement reached to hand over 40% of the shares of the Kerawalapitiya Yugadanavi Power Plant to an American firm, Minister Ranatunga claimed the agreement wasn’t reached in secrecy adding it was tabled to the Cabinet of Ministers of which in represented by several coalition party leaders.
He said the President explained the importance in the presence of these Ministers to which everyone agreed.
Minister Ranatunga said it is important to bring in US investors as it would encourage other investments.
When questioned by media on the similarities of the Millennium Challenge Corporation agreement and the LNG power plant agreement, the Minister claimed the MCC agreement vested administration authority to the US and required transferring part of the country adding they object to the agreement even if the present administration proposes it.
The Minister said however the LNG power plant agreement is only for 15 years after which ownership transfers back to the country.