India extends full support for the development of Sri Lanka's tourism and aviation sectors. This was stated at a discussion held between Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, H.E. Gopal Bagle and Minister of Sports, Hon. Namal Rajapaksa and Minister of Tourism, Hon.Prasanna Ranatunga

During the discussion which was held at the VIP lounge at the Katunayake Airport, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Prasanna Ranatunga pointed out that India is one of the main source market for Sri Lanka tourism. The Minister pointed out that the majority of the people in the country have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and that the government is taking steps to provide Covid vaccine to school children as well. Minister said that he expects an increase in the number of Indian tourists visiting Sri Lanka in the future. More attention has been paid to the potential of boosting tourism between the two countries, especially on the religious ties between India and Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Buddhists attend Dambadiva pilgrimages, while Indian devotees mostly come to Sri Lanka to visit Ramayana sites. Taking this situation into consideration, Minister, Hon. Prasanna Ranatunga suggested that a joint program should be implemented between the two countries to promote religious, cultural and archeological tours. The Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka agreed and said that attention has already been paid in this regard.

At this meeting, it was also discussed about the expansion of aviation between the two countries and the resumption of flights from Jaffna to Chennai. Minister of Sports, Hon. Namal Rajapaksa said that the Government of Sri Lanka commends India's support for socio-economic development in Sri Lanka.

Photo caption: The discussion between Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, H.E. Gopal Bagle, Minister of Sports, Hon. Namal Rajapaksa, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Prasanna Ranatunga and State Minister of Aviation and Export Zone Development, Hon. D.V. Chanaka.

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