Dr Bilesha Weeraratne Flags the Importance of Remittances and Tourism to Sri Lanka’s Economy

23 June 2022

IPS Research Fellow Dr Bilesha Weeraratne delivered a lecture on the ‘Sri Lankan Economic Crisis and the Role of Remittances and Tourism’ at the invitation of the Nepal Institute of International Cooperation and Engagement (NIICE).

On remittances, Dr Weeraratne stressed that Sri Lanka should promote safe migration by providing clear information for potential migrants on the available legal channels and thereby discourage illegal migration. She noted that many Sri Lankans who wish to migrate for employment are finding it difficult to meet the increasing migration costs including airfare and called on the government to support those seeking to migrate. This should be done in conjunction with other incentives for migrants to provide remittances as well such as duty relief, low-interest housing plans, and preference for school admissions to name a few, she said.

On tourism, Dr Weeraratne stated that Sri Lanka aims to attract around 800,000-850,000 tourists to the country this year despite the economic crisis. To achieve this target, industry stakeholders have identified key areas including reversing the negative travel advisories issued by other countries, prioritising the supply of electricity and fuel to the industry, and promoting the country as a travel destination through promotional activities, especially targeting risk-averse markets.

Watch the full lecture HERE.