Sri Lanka plans for tourism industry boom


Sri Lanka will be positioned as a high-end tourism destination focusing more on quality service delivery. The tourism industry will be developed under an integrated program where all stakeholders especially the small and medium products and service providers will have wider opportunities to benefit from industrial growth. In keeping with this concept, Sancharaka Udawa was launched in Colombo yesterday.

Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka Past President Srilal Miththapala and eTurboNews ambassador, along with Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators President Nilmin Nanayakkara and Sri Lanka Tourism Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa at the “Sancharaka Udawa” were among those meeting at the tourism products meet mart held yesterday.

The boom in the tourist industry will provide ample economic opportunities and the sector should ensure that economic benefits would spread into every strata of society.

The small and medium products and service providers need to be encouraged to be more proactive towards the industry where a comprehensive approach for maximum use of resources will be in place shortly, Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) President Nilmin Nanayakkara told Daily News Business.

“We require to combine all segments with different interests to work closely for mutual benefit. We promote the home stay concept because today the demand for such interactive holidays are very high,” President Nanayakkara said. The SLAITO is of the view that it should support the tourism industry growth. For this, stakeholders cannot only be offering normal traditional tours and need to infuse modern world changing needs.

“There are a whole lot of boutique hotels coming up in different parts of the country. Some of them are of high standard and the concept is positive. However, the marketing and promotion arm is not strong and, therefore, do not derive the maximum benefit. The idea of Sancharaka Udawa is to introduce unexposed informal sector products through a formal sector and give our members an opportunity,” he said.

The measures taken will create an opportunity for income generation in the industry to all levels of society basically taking tourism to the masses.

All tourism-related providers in Sri Lanka showcased their products and services in the aspects of home-stay, bungalows, and villas, transportation, jeep hiring services, soft adventure suppliers to build and maintain close linkages with main stream operators for business development. Opportunity also exists in industrial automation solution, tourist information kiosks, agricultural tourism, wedding planning for tourists, and cooking by color for sustainable growth in the tourism industry.