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Many countries follow the bio bubble concept to uplift the tourism industry amidst the Covid-19, while here in Sri Lanka, usual mudslinging has its roleplay.

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The world has been facing a major economic crisis for nearly 18 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Considering the gravity of the global situation, the IMF has also this time allocated their highest ever SDR of 650 Billion USD to the member countries. Travel and tourism’s direct contribution to GDP was approximately 2.9 trillion U.S. dollars in 2019. But all that has changed with the arrival of the covid pandemic, which has drawn the industry back globally. The Sri Lankan tourism industry has also experienced the same, losing its annual contribution to the national GDP, which was earlier at approximately 5 billion USD. Unfortunately, annual tourism industry earnings have gone down to nearly 20 million USD. Therefore, it’s apparent that the field has suffered tremendously, like other fields in the country. And it’s still happening in this unpredictable pandemic situation. The government halted many imports as foreign reserves dwindled and the sharp depreciation of the dollar. One of the main reasons for this was the limited number of foreign tourists arriving in the country due to the national lockdowns, and globally, many other countries also imposed travel restrictions on their citizens. With the worldwide speedy vaccination process, many tourism-industry-related countries tend to engage in the field under quarantine laws and a particular tourism industry-friendly framework. More than 300,000 Sri Lankans depend on the tourism industry for their livelihood. From star-rated hoteliers and their support staff to travel agency personnel, guides to home-based lodgings, tuk-tuk drivers, and fruit sellers, they directly or indirectly generate revenue from the tourism industry. These days, some unsuccessful politicians and some politically motivated personnel disgracefully strive to inject their corrupted ideologies and falsified information into society through social media platforms to achieve political advantages for their existence. And unfortunately, some industry-related personnel have also been trapped in ill-witted malpractices. The bio bubble concepts have been implemented in many countries to regenerate tourism with proven records. For example, even on small islands such as the Maldives, as of July 31, this year had received 617,791 tourists, with 32% of the total coming from Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Russia. The total number of tourists visiting Sri Lanka at this time is nearly 20,000. These figures denote success to some extent compared with early records. At the dawn of this year, the tourism industry was at a somewhat zero level and, by now, it has shown a slight improvement. Following the bio bubble data from the state tourism promotion bureau, nearly 32 times more tourists have come to the Maldives than here. The government, as well as the public, are responsible for the national security and economic development of the country. In the same manner, the activities of both the government and the public should equally contribute to the national health and economic development of the country. If the people who make a living on daily wages are not used to the downgraded political agendas, the economic development path would not be much more difficult even amidst this pandemic situation. The same politicians who want to close the country today will shout to open it tomorrow. Anti-government politicians are trying to provoke the public by presenting their views day by day. Without any source of statistics in hand, the sole attempt of those who try to socialize some false information about the bio bubble concept is to destroy the country’s economy. It must be understood that if public behaviour relating to health and safety during this pandemic situation follows the regularly provided guidelines of the government, the tourism industry could be promoted and undergone through a particular legal framework. For sure, it will be a clear answer to many of the economic problems of Sri Lanka.

Written by Dushan Madhu

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