Banks must assist struggling Sri Lankans in the Tourism Industry during the COVID Pandemic

Banks must assist struggling Sri Lankans in the Tourism Industry during the COVID Pandemic

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Leon Balthazar started this petition to Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and

Travel and Tourism Industry Employees who are suffering as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.  It is first and foremost, a humanitarian crisis affecting people’s lives, which has triggered an unprecedented crisis for the tourism economy in Sri Lanka. Tourism is an important part of our economy as it generates foreign exchange, drives regional development, directly supports numerous types of jobs and businesses and underpins many local communities. It has therefore very tangible impacts for all Sri Lankans.

Over the years, employees from various tourism sectors including chauffer’s, guides, hotel staff etc who provide service to offer a great experience to tourists during their holiday, to Employees for Airlines and destination management companies who promote Sri Lanka as a tourist destination to other countries, have greatly contributed towards the economy of Sri Lanka.

The total contribution (both direct and indirect) of the tourism sector to Sri Lanka's economy has been significant.   Nearly 11 years after the end of the brutal Civil War, Sri Lanka was named by Lonely Planet as one of the top tourist destinations for 2019 and furthermore, recognized as a hot tourist destination.

Furthermore, Banks advertise that they are here to support customers throughout any crisis.  We are also told that they are here to help the economy on the other side, as we recover from the devastating effects of this pandemic.  Shouldn’t they, therefore stand shoulder to shoulder with Sri Lankans who are suffering as a result of this health and economic crisis, and not pressurise employees from the Travel and Tourism Industry to pay back their loan interest, despite these employees not receiving any income whatsoever?  Some of them have completely lost their jobs and income and many of them have taken drastic pay cuts. It is very unreasoning for the Banks and Leasing Companies to demand that interest of the loans and leases during the grace period (from March 2020) be paid back now as it has been gloomily predicted that this situation will continue for a minimum of another 12 months.

The reality is that global tourism will be hard hit throughout 2020 and beyond, even if the spread of the virus is brought under control in the coming months. Tourism businesses were among the first to be shut down following the introduction of measures to contain the virus, as tourism necessarily involves people-to-people interactions and the movement of people travelling from their place of usual residence to other countries. Tourism activities are also likely to be among the last to restart, and indeed, on a phased basis. Even when these businesses do open, it will be under new operating procedures in the absence of a vaccine.

Sri Lanka is now open and beginning to progress slowly, but the employees in the tourism industry are struggling to move forward with their day to day life, as the Airport, which is the main source of the tourism industry is closed.  The decision that was made to keep the Airport closed is fully understandable and justifiable as it was made to protect all other citizens of Sri Lanka, but this means no income for many people.  

Sri Lanka will be a DISASTER Zone if people are made to pay back interest when there is no income earned.

I therefore write on behalf of the employees of the Tourism Industry to respectfully request Your Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to kindly pay attention to this issue and grant an interest-free grace period of all loans and leases obtained by employees of the Tourism Industry until August 2021.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!