Country lost US$ 2,790 million due to airport closure – Prasanna

Prasanna Ranatunga

The Government has lost around US$ 2,790 million by way of levies and other revenue due to the closure of the Airport for tourist arrivals because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said.

“With the closure of the airport, tourist arrivals have been completely disrupted and a huge amount of money owed to the tourism industry has been lost from March 19 to October 30,” he said. The Tourism Minister said that the country had lost around US $ 2,700 million that would have accrued from the tourism development levy charged from foreign tourists arriving in the country.

“In addition, the income which could have been made by way of Airport Services Tax is around US $ 90 million,” he said.

Meanwhile, due to the closure of the airport, the Airport and Aviation Services Ltd has lost Rs.1,779 million in revenue, which is an average daily loss of around Rs. 6 million, the Minister said.

However, he said the Government is focusing on reopening the airport to foreign tourists as soon as possible under strict health and safety guidelines.

(Source: Daily News – By Mahinda Aluthgedera)