Search this siteSri Lanka Tourist Attractions Search 1. Anuradhapura 2. Arugam Bay 3. Adams Peak 4. Batticaloa 5. Bentota 6. Beruwala 7. Bundala National Park 8. Colombo 9. Dambulla 10. Ella 11. Galle 12. Hambantota 13. Hikkaduwa 14. Horton Plains 15. Jaffna 16. Kalkudah 17. Kalpitiya 18. Kandy 19. Katunayake 20. Kitulgala 21. Knuckles Range 22. Mannar 23. Matara 24. Minneriya 25. Negombo 26. Nilaveli 27. NuwaraEliya 28. Pasikudah 29. Pinnawela 30. Polonnaruwa 31. Puttalam 32. Ratnapura 33. Sigiriya 34. Sinharaja 35. Trincomalee 36. Unawatuna 37. Weligama 38. Wilpattu National Park 39. Yala National Park
Tourism to Sri Lanka is flourishingNew Delhi , Fri, 20 Jul 2012 NI Wire inShare0The end of internal conflict in Sri Lanka has imparted an impetus to tourism inthis island country. According to data available, in the first half of this year452,867 visitors including 85,000 from India have visited this country situatedsouth of India.This tourist influx is all time high and an 18.7 percent increase over the sameperiod last year, says a Xinhua report.According to the reports of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority saidthe highest number of tourists -- 172,602 -- in the first six months arrived fromWestern Europe.British topped the list of tourists with 47,975, while Germany finished secondwith 32,081.In the terms of parentage highest growth was reported from Spain despite lownumbers.The percentage of tourist arrivals from Spain grew by an impressive 89.2percent from 2,058 in 2011 to 3,894 this year.116,717 arrivals reported from South Asia.With 85,426 arrivals in the first half of the year India remained on top in terms of regional travelers.Maldives also registered a 6.7 percent growth with 20,602 tourists, a monthly bulletin issued by tourism authoritysays.Tourists from East Asia grew 36.7 percent from 41,340 in 2011 to 56,497.The tourist influx from Japan increased by 29.4 percent to 10,203, while China registered 9,622 arrivals posting a11.7 percent increase from 8,613 in 2011.To further increase the tourist arrivals the government of Sri Lanka has set an ambitious target of one million arrivalsin year 2012, and expects it to reach 2.5 million by 2016. Around $2 billion in earnings are also expected from thetourism industry this year by Sri Lanka government.
--with inputs from IANSFriday, July 20, 2012 10:05:39 AM (IST)Tourism to Sri Lanka is Booming Colombo, Jul 20 (IANS): Sri Lankas post-war tourism is booming. In the first half of this year, a total of 452,867 people including 85,000 from India, visited the island nation, government data shows. This is an all-time high and an 18.7 percent growth over the same period last year, Xinhua reported. The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority said the highest number of tourists -- 172,602 -- in the first six months arrived from western Europe. Britain clocked the highest number of tourists at 47,975, followed by Germany with 32,081. Despite not having high numbers, the largest growth percentage-wise came from Spain. The percentage of Spanish tourists grew by an impressive 89.2 percent from 2,058 in 2011 to 3,894 this year. South Asia also remained a strong market with 116,717 arrivals. India continued to lead the number of regional travellers with 85,426 arrivals in the first half of the year. Maldives also showed a 6.7 percent growth with 20,602 tourists, the tourism authority said in its monthly bulletin. Tourists from East Asia grew 36.7 percent from 41,340 in 2011 to 56,497. The number of arrivals from Japan increased by 29.4 percent to 10,203, while China reached 9,622 arrivals posting a 11.7 percent increase from 8,613 in 2011. The Sri Lankan government has set an ambitious target of one million arrivals for 2012, and expects it to rise to 2.5 million by 2016. Around $2 billion in earnings are also expected from the tourism industry this year. Saturday, July 21, 2012, 20:00 Hrs [IST] Sri Lanka records 18.7% growth in visitations during Jan- June, 2012 By TBM Staff | Mumbai In the first half of this year, a total of 452,867 people including 85,426 from India, visited Sri Lanka, according to government data. This is an all-time high and an 18.7 per cent growth over the same period last year, as per a Xinhua report. The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority said the highest number of tourists - 172,602 in the first six months arrived from Western Europe. Britain clocked the highest number of tourists at 47,975, followed by Germany with 32,081.
The percentage of Spanish tourists grew by an 89.2 per cent from 2,058 in 2011 to 3,894 this year. South Asiaalso remained a strong market with 116,717 arrivals. India continued to lead the number of regional travellerswith 85,426 arrivals in the first half of the year. Maldives also showed a 6.7 per cent growth with 20,602 tourists,the tourism authority said in its monthly bulletin.Tourists from East Asia grew 36.7 per cent from 41,340 in 2011 to 56,497. The number of arrivals from Japanincreased by 29.4 per cent to 10,203, while China reached 9,622 arrivals posting a 11.7 per cent increase from8,613 in 2011.The Sri Lankan government has set a target of one million arrivals for 2012, and expects it to rise to 2.5 millionby 2016. Around USD two billion in earnings are also expected from the tourism industry this year.
Japanese and Indian Tourists Spend More than Other Asian Touristsin GeorgiaWritten by Nana Mghebrishvili, The FINANCIAL23/07/2012 02:01 (02:37 minutes ago)The FINANCIAL -- The number of Asian tourists in Georgia is growing rapidly. 47,923 visitorsfrom East Asia and Pacific crossed over Georgia’s border in the first six months of 2012, whichis 69 percent more than the 28,334 visitors who visited Georgia in the same period of 2011,according tothe Georgian Share on emailEmailNational Share on printPrintTourism Share on twitterTwitterShare on facebookFacebookShare on myspaceMySpaceAgency Share on deliciousDelicousShare on stumbleuponStumbleShare on diggDigg(GNTA). More Destinations... ADVERTISEMENT
The FINANCIAL -- The number of Asian tourists in Georgia is growing rapidly. 47,923 visitorsfrom East Asia and Pacific crossed over Georgia’s border in the first six months of 2012, whichis 69 percent more than the 28,334 visitors who visited Georgia in the same period of 2011,according to the Georgian National Tourism Agency (GNTA).The number of visitors from South Asia experienced growth of 84 percent in this period. 36,771travelled to Georgia compared to the 20,010 visitors in 2011.“The Asian segment is very important for Georgia and their number is growing gradually thanksto the activities of GNTA as well as the private sector including tourism agencies,” BekaJakeli,Deputy Chairman of GNTA, told The FINANCIAL. “This is important for two reasons. Thesegment is very big and has the potential for huge growth. At the same time, they tend to spend agreat deal of money. Japanese and Indian tourists in particular spend more money. Their overallnumber isn’t high enough yet, however the money they spend is significant.”The aim of their travel is different, it includes leisure, business and cultural tours. Iran is theleader from South Asia in terms of sheer number of tourists. Their number increased by 92percent in the six months of 2012 compared to the same six months of 2011. Indians also tend totravel a lot in Georgia. Visitors from other Southern Asian countries including Pakistan, SriLanka and Nepal are mainly only business travellers, which don’t change the tourist climate inGeorgia.“Iranian tourists tend to travel during Bayram and their number is greatly increasing,” Jakeliexplained. This is for the reason of effective advertisements in this country implemented by bothGNTA and tourism agencies. Iranians like Georgia as there is a relatively free environment hereand they are not limited. Iranians feel uncomfortable in many countries because of their religionand traditions, however that is not the case in Georgia. The majority of them travel to Adjara.”“Indian tourists also do a lot of travelling in Georgia. This has been significantly supported bythe entrance of Qatar Airlines in Georgia. Whereas they used to use Turkish Airlines they now
prefer Qatar as it has several connecting flights to different cities in India from Doha. Wewelcome this fact as Indians are tourists that tend to spend large amounts.”China and Japan are leaders from the East Asia and Pacific region. The number of Japanesetravellers in the country isn’t high, but they spend significant amounts of money and thereforemake up a more important segment than the tourists of certain other countries, who travel a lotyet take very economical trips.Tbilisi now has direct flights to Urumqi, China. The Chinese Government officially recommendsGeorgia as one of the best destinations for its tourists. This is very important as Chinese peoplepay a lot attention to such official recommendations. If a country does not have suchrecommendation, then the Chinese tend to almost never travel there.“In general eastern tourists, unlike western ones who are more interested in adventure tours, tendto prefer cultural tours,” Jakeli stated.“The majority of Chinese tourists are business visitors, but some of them are interested incultural tourism as well. Japanese tourists take cultural tours combined with educational ones.All tourists like Adjara, but out of all Asian countries it is mainly the Iranians that come forGeorgia’s sea resorts.”Korea is a very important, rapidly-growing market in the world, including for Georgia.As the number of Asian tourists grows in Georgia, demand for guides of eastern languages growsas well. The number of guides is not small but still not high enough. Jakeli considers thesituation to be acceptable but recommends there being more guides of Chinese, Japanese andIndian languages.“We mainly have specialists of eastern languages who start working as guides. This isn’t bad butit would be much better if we had more professional guides. Demand is growing and theirnumber must therefore grow as well.”
Free University and Tbilisi State University (TSU) have courses of eastern languages, butdemand for these courses is not high enough. The tuition fee at TSU for these courses is GEL2,250. Some of the course graduates actually go on to work as guides and earn a significantsalary.Irina Shamanauri has a Bachelor’s degree in philology of the Japanese language. She works as aguide.“When I started studying this course, everyone laughed at me, but now I have the best salary ofall my friends,” Shamanauri claims. “There are not that many Japanese tourists here but at thesame time, the number of guides is not many either which means that my salary is more thanenough. Japanese tourists are mainly interested in cultural tours across the breadth of Georgiaincluding Mtskheta, Kakheti, Kazbegi, Svaneti and Adjara.”Georgia currently has direct flights to Dubai/UEA (three times a week), Tehran/Iran (twice aweek), Urumqi/China (three times a week), Doha/Qatar (every day). The price per person for around trip is EUR 260 to Dubai, EUR 315 to Iran, EUR 485 to Urumqi and EUR 378 to Doha,according to Business Travel Com.Tbilisi has transit flights to other Asian cities including Colombo/Sri Lanka (every day),Tokyo/Japan (every day), Beijing/China (five times a week), Delhi/India (every day),Kathmandu/Nepal (four times a week) and Seoul/Korea (every day). The price per person for around trip to Colombo, Sri Lanka is EUR 494, which is a newly popular destination. Other pricesare: Tokyo - EUR 1,145, Beijing - EUR 688, Delhi - EUR 622, Kathmandu - EUR 534, andSeoul - EUR 980
Sri Lanka inaugurates construction of 43-story Hyatt Regency hotel incapital Colombo Thu, Jul 19, 2012, 09:38 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka. July 19, Colombo: Construction of a Hyatt Regency Hotel in Sri Lankan capital of Colombo commenced today with the participation of Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa in the foundation stone laying ceremony.The project launched today will develop a 43-story five-star luxury hotel complex whichwill be managed by the Hyatt International under the Hyatt Regency brand.
Once completed, the proposed hotel, Hyatt Regency Colombo will have modern facilitieswith large banqueting and meeting spaces, food and beverage outlets, fitness center,entertainment and adequate parking for the visitors, the Economic DevelopmentMinistry says.The project is developed by Sinolanka Hotels & Spa (Pvt) Ltd with the required capitalfrom a consortium of investors consisting private and state entities including the SriLanka Insurance Corporation Ltd.In an effort to meet the growing demand for accommodation of tourists to the countryfollowing the end of the civil conflict three years ago, the government has revived theHyatt Regency Colombo hotel project which was originally proposed in 2003. The landwas originally leased to the previous developer in 2003 for scheduled completion of theproject in 2008 but the project has remained abandoned over the past 3 years.The government has taken over the project under the Revival of UnderperformingEnterprises & Underutilized Assets Act, enacted in November 2011.In March 2012, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal to re-develop the propertyas a fully-fledged multi-faceted hotel complex to support the government initiative intourism infrastructure development and to meet the demand from the growing touriststo the country.The hotel will feature approximately 565 rooms with 475 guest rooms. The guest roomswill include 54 suites, 265 King rooms, 150 Twin rooms and 6 rooms for the disabled.An infinity pool with a pool deck with seating for 76 will be constructed on the 11thfloor.
The new developer has engaged well-known industry professionals to design and buildthe complex including the award winning interior designer, BilkeyLlinas Designs of HongKong, restaurant designer, Super Potato from Japan, design architect, DesignConsortium Ltd and MAGA Engineering (Pvt) Ltd as the main contractor.Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, MPNamal Rajapaksa, Additional Secretary to the President and Chief of Staff and theChairman of the Sino Lanka GaminiSenarath, Secretary, Ministry of Finance & PlanningDr. P B Jayasundara, and Board of Investment Chairman Mr. M.M.C. Ferdinando alsoparticipated in the occasion.(Photos by NalinHewapathirana)
How tourism yield can be suitably incorporated into thesustainability paradigm Published : 12:05 am June 27, 2012 | 2 comments | | E-mail to friendBy Shelton DharmaratneChanging global trends will continually pose challenges to economic theory and policy and the ways inwhich we analyse tourism activity. Sri Lanka Tourism‟s public policies are trapped in a dynamic, ongoingprocess and it has become increasingly evident that the Government is struggling to comprehend thetourism industry, its impact and future and how they should get intervene.The Sri Lankan Government has a set a target of attracting 2.5 million high spending tourists by the year2016 and to increase foreign exchange earnings from $500 million in 2010 to $2.75 billion by 2016. Therequired number of visitor rooms is to be increased to 45,000 by 2016.Buying into the tourism phenomenaThe tourism industry is diverse, fragmented and dynamic and it must be studied at a number of levels andfrom many perspectives. Tourism problems are complex and interrelatedand they suggest a myriad crises such as overcrowding of tourist attractions, overuse and destruction ofnatural resources, resident – host conflicts, loss of cultural heritage, increased crime and prostitution,inflation and escalating land costs and a host of other political, socio-cultural, economic andenvironmental problems that may be brought about or exacerbated by tourism development.The general issues central to any discussion of the positive and negative impacts of tourism must include
notions of carrying capacity and of how impacts can be assessed. Carrying capacity is a relativelystraightforward concept. In simple terms, it refers to a point beyond which further levels of visitation ordevelopment would lead to an unacceptable deterioration in the physical environment and of the visitor‟sexperience.And these risks are truly urgent, penetrating and potentially irreversible: risks to environmentalsustainability, risks to greater economic stability, risks to local culture and risks to social value systems.Simply put, in buying into the tourism phenomena, a destination can face the risk of selling its soul whichis why it is fundamentally believed that to enable the tourism sector to truly work for the destination, aclear, visionary and focused leadership by the Government is vitalThe need for intervention by specialistsEconomists are concerned with tourism‟s contributions to the economy, the economic development of adestination area, focus on supply and demand, foreign exchange and balance of payments, employmentand other monetary factors.Whether or not tourism creates greater net benefits to society than other forms of development dependsprimarily on the nature of the country‟s economy and what alternative forms of development arepracticable. A more balanced view of the economic effects of tourism demands a deeper understandingof the human issues surrounding the impacts of tourism.This requires joint work by economists, sociologists, political scientists and other specialists in the varioushumanities. At present, this work is being carried out almost entirely by economists who are not always inthe best position to identify all of the phenomena requiring quantification or the appropriate weightings toapply to each.Sri Lanka Tourism’s roleOver the last 30 years, both the planning and marketing of tourism have been primarily orientated towardthe needs to attract large numbers of tourists and hence, ensure enough financial return on theirinvestments. The primary concerns have been how many tourists will come and how can we attractmore?The political structure and fragmented nature of the industry suggest the political systems dedicated toequitable development and resource use are unlikely to be forthcoming. If the adverse effects of tourismare to be prevented or remedied, it is crucial that politicians and planners become less preoccupied.Sri Lanka Tourism must aspire to achieve acceptable tourism volume and to chart national policyframework in line with available resources and circumstances. High expenditure and low volume is theperfect formula that Sri Lanka Tourism must hold close. Think big and go big is simply a political wish andis the plan of the bureaucracy sans fundamental policy framework.There is need for much debate and argument over tourism policymaking and a study of Sri Lanka
Tourism‟s policies. Debate needs to be encouraged to reflect values and interests and therefore enhanceour awareness of the political process which surround tourism.In short, Sri Lanka Tourism has an urgent need for public policy studies – the focal point of Governmentactivity, in order to comprehend the causes and consequences of policies decisions and actions, whichshould be of interest to economists, sociologists and environmentalists as well as hospitality industryprofessionals.Key questionsObviously, key questions to be considered include: what is the optimum number of tourists that the areacan support in terms of its physical, environmental and social carrying capacity? How can these touristscontribute to the enhancement of the life styles of the residents? What works in tourism promotion? Morespecifically, given the limited resources in tough economic times, how are tax rupees best spent topromote tourism? Is tourism even a worthwhile expenditure for Government funds? How much doestourism actually benefit state and local economies? These are just a few questions facing elected policymakers and local tourism promotion agencies.Planning for the resultant impact of tourism necessitates a careful definition of the respectiveresponsibilities of the public and private sectors and communities. Tourism creates both positive andnegative effects in the destination country or region. Thoughtful policy making and planning can do muchto minimise or even remove the negative effects.Tourism can be a very positive means of increasing the economic, social, cultural and environmental lifeof a country. The major issue now is if politicians, planners and developers and citizens rise to thechallenge and create a truly responsible, and thus acceptable, tourism industry; one which brings long-term benefits to residents and tourists alike without compromising the physical and cultural environmentof the destination region.In the future, planners, developers and communities must take a more proactive role in controlling thenature of such development in terms of stricter building and design regulations, controlled access tovulnerable sites and attractions and strict transport regulations especially in core areas.In order for all forms of tourism to become more sustainable, the systematic application of sustainabilityobjectives and criteria to new and existing infrastructures and services must be encouraged. This alsoincludes improved governance and rethinking the existing infrastructure at destinations.Competitive and sustainable destinationsDestination is the most important element of the tourism system as well as motivating visitation, deliveringvisitor experiences and contributing to enduring memories of the tourism experience. However theincreased growth of demand for tourism, coupled to the changing nature of the tourism consumer, meansthat destinations are under pressure to be both competitive and sustainable.
Marketing and branding destinations in international markets present many ongoing challenges. Whichmarkets and segments should be targeted and how should a destination be branded and positioned forthese different markets and segments? What global brand elements should be portrayed and how shouldthey be portrayed?The destination is not a single product like an airline seat or a hotel bed. It is a composite product, madeup of hundreds and even thousands of individual products. Destinations are combinations of tourismproducts, offering an integrated experience to consumers. Destinations are amalgams of individuallyproduced tourism amenities and services (accommodation, transportation, catering, entertainment etc)and a wide range of public goods (such as landscape, scenery, sea, lakes, socio-cultural surroundings,atmosphere etc).All these elements are branded together under the name of the destination. Traditionally, destinations areregarded as well-defined geographical areas. However, it is increasingly recognised that a destinationcan also a perceptual concept, which can be interpreted subjectively by consumers depending on theirtravel itinerary, cultural background, purpose of visit, educational level and past experience.Understanding the core product as well as the facilitating, supportive and augmented products for eachtarget market is of paramount importance for destination marketing. The augmented environment willinclude intangible elements such as interaction and customer participation as well as accessibility andphysical environment.Tourism marketingIf tourism is to survive by generating satisfaction among interacting tourists and hosts, it must adoptsocietal marketing strategies. This involves carefully monitoring tourists‟ satisfaction levels and usingthese as part of the criteria for success, rather than increasing numbers of tourists.Continually monitoring host reactions to tourists, for host-tourist interaction is an important component ofthe tourist experience and being aware that infrastructure development of tourism resort areas hasimplications for the types of tourists that will be attracted.The National Tourism Authority (SLTDA) has to be accountable for the planning and marketing of thecountry and to have the power and resources to undertake action towards achieving its strategicobjectives.Tourism marketing should not only be regarded as a tool for attracting more visitors to a region. Instead,tourism marketing should operate as a mechanism to facilitate regional development objectives and torationalise the provision of tourism in order to ensure that the sustainable strategic objectives ofdestinations are achieved.Tourism marketing should also ensure equitable returns-on-resources utilised for the production anddelivery of tourism products, as well as the regeneration of these resources.
It should also provide suitable gains to all stakeholders involved in the tourism system. Hence, marketingshould be used as a strategic mechanism in co-ordination with planning and management rather than asales tool.Although the National Tourism Authority has traditionally taken the marketing responsibility for thedestination product, they fail to control marketing activities and mixes of individual players and hence canonly co-ordinate and guide, rather than undertake a comprehensive marketing strategy. Perhaps the mostimportant challenge for destination marketing therefore is to bring all individual partners together to poolresources towards developing an integrated marketing mix and delivery system.The importance of sustainabilityInterestingly, the sustainability of local resources becomes one of the most important elements ofdestination image, as a growing section of the market is not prepared to tolerate over-developed tourismdestinations and diverts to more environmentally advanced regions.The degree of consumer satisfaction will depend on the assessment of the perceived overall experienceof the destination versus anticipated expectations and perceptions. Developing the right image fordestinations will therefore determine their ability to satisfy visitors as it will allow them to develop realisticand fulfill-able expectations. Tourists enjoy authentic experiences in places which have experiencedlimited tourism development.The response of the tourism sector to the current unprecedented economic crisis should include elementsthat reinforce sustainability parameters in tourism planning and management. Tourism can contribute toits own resilience and to the global economic recovery by pursuing a climate neutral strategy, as well asinnovation in the use of cleaner energy and more efficient resource use.Combining these strategies and approaches contributes to the reduction of poverty, and to social andeconomic development within the carrying capacities of ecosystems.The ultimate objective of distribution channel is delivering the right quality and quantity of a product, in theright place, at the right time, at the right cost and to the right customer. Destinations have sufferedbecause they wrongly assumed that the higher the volume of tourists, the more benefits they canachieve.However it is evident that limits on the development of tourism activity should be imposed in order toavoid overexploitation of local resources. Although marketing has often been regarded as an enemy ofsustainability, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority need to realise that strategic marketingshould be used to achieve destination policies.Sustainability strategy is to Sri Lanka Tourism what sheet music is to an orchestra. It is the direction, thefocus and the policy framework. For the tourism sector, that conductor is the government of thedestination, the source of vision, inspiration and disciplining direction which turns passion into proud,
purposeful, clearly positioned tourism marketing and experience excellence.The concept of sustainability is fundamentally important to the long-term viability, credibility, authenticityand the productivity of the tourism sector and it is the responsibility of the planners, developers andcommunities to ensure that the richness of the term is not diminished by the cliché of its application.The writer holds B.Bus., RMIT Melbourne, PGD in Advanced Tourism Studies, Bournemouth Universityand is the CEO of Sustainable Solutions. He could be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Future of Tourism and Hospitality Industry in North and East of Sri LankabyTarrin ConstantineAny master plan for development of tourism for each of the provinces in Sri Lankashould be worked out within the wider framework of the tourism network of the country.For example, Jaffna alone cannot be the desired destination of a tourism developmentprogramme; instead it should fit within the market strategy of the tourist industry as awhole or for that matter The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and The SriLanka Tourism Promotions Bureau (successors to The Sri Lanka Tourist Board)Casuarina Beach-pic.indi.caOrganised tourism was institutionalised in Sri Lanka in 1966 and since then it has seena rapid growth. This growth is in spite of 40 years of violence and communal unrest inthe country, at certain time reaching its peak level. Further, the industry has gonethrough a setback in the aftermath of the Tsunami (2004) in the year 2005; however itgot recouped within a short span of time. The year 2004 has witnessed the highesttourist arrivals of 566,202 and contributing USD 416 million to the economy. At that timethe industry had direct and indirect employment of 112,000 people. In the years 2007and 2008 there has been a sharp decline in arrival of 494,008 and 438,475 respectively.The decline is mainly due to the internal war in the country and the Global economicslump. Total arrivals of the year 2009 are expected to be around 439,000.
On the basis of research carried out by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau andthe World Tourism Organisation (WTO), it is very clear that Sri Lanka has a long way togo to tap its full potential. Therefore it is vital that politicians and academics from theNorth East area should give the utmost priority in developing the area into a desireddestination for tourists.What we have to offerSri Lanka, apart from being gifted with diversity of attraction one of the very few whichcan fit in the „attraction diversity criterion‟ with 65,525 sq km. With regards to North andEast it should specifically initiate some programmes to attract the tourists. Touriststravel hundred of miles to arrive at some destinations. I do not have much knowledgeabout the Eastern province, hence explored some concepts for the other provinces.When a concept is developed it is always better to schedule during holidays and othermajor events of the country such as:Nallur Temple festival; Establishing shop points forday tour operators (Keerimalai, Jaffna town, Nallur Temple etc);ThellippalaiThukaiAmman festival;Tamil New Year
Keerimalai Springs-pic: indi.caIt is also important to take into consideration that any tourism and hospitality industrywill not succeed without well trained and motivated staff in the industry. Provincialbodies should encourage private investment to open hotels in Northern and Easternprovinces. Government help can also be sought to start tourist related courses in theseprovinces. Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management can venture into suchactivities.Small provinces like Jaffna and Batticaloa will have two kinds of visiting:Day visits ;Longtime visitsMarket should be developed to capture both kinds of customers. In the South,EsalaPerahara, NavamPerahara, KelenyiaDuruthuPerahara, Singhala New Year,VesakPoya Celebration and Sri Pada Pilgrimage are some cultural activities that attract
tourists and promotions in that respect is carried out Worldwide. It is important that weidentify such events and carryout promotion in order to attract tourist. It will also help usto preserve our cultural identity. It will also project as a show case for our culturalenhancement.Market Segment- Where we standThe following are the top ten countries generating markets in this sector for Sri Lanka.India has overtaken UK as the major market for Sri Lanka over the past 3/ 4 years.North and East have a unique advantage of attracting Diaspora community, as theirdesired tourist destination. This can be an easy market if it could be tapped. It isimportant that any marketing has to be completely out of any political or any otherinfuence.Provincial councils in North and East should have strong representation in The SriLanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) and The Sri Lanka Tourism PromotionsBureau (SLTPB) representing the interest of North & East. It should ensure that North &East have appropriate representation in SLTPB and in its overall marketing plan.At present North and East have no representation at all and it is completelyunderstandable. However, future should be different.History of SLTDAIn 1966, the Government decided to develop tourism in a planned and a systematicmanner, after identifying the need to set up an institutional framework. The CeylonTourist Board (created by the Ceylon Tourist Board Act No 10 of 1966) and the CeylonHotels Corporation (created by Ceylon Hotels Corporation Act of 1966) were setup.With the new Tourism Act number 38 of 2005. which came into effect from the 1stOctober 2007 the following bodies became as successors to the Sri Lanka TouristBoard.The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority:The Sri Lanka Tourism PromotionsBureau: Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management: Sri Lanka ConventionBureau
Within these structures The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) is themost operational aspect. Within SLTDA there are important projects where North andEastern provinces should actively participate. These projects are as follows:Tourism Infrastructure projects:New Product Development:Domestic Tourism Projects;Destination Management System:Sustainable Tourism Developing and RegionalTourism projectIt is important that provincial administrators and politicians are getting involved to makesure that the North and East interests are well represented by experienced and capableprofessionals.Beach in Alles Garden, Trincomalee-pic:drs. SarajevoInfrastructureTourism requires a good infrastructure. There are so many examples in the world wherecountries are suffering without proper infrastructure to attract the tourists. When thedestination becomes popular more people want to visit the country. In return demand fortravel will increase resulting in higher airfare. Then this will resent in catch 22 situations,whereby visitors demand increases and the flights decline. This is more common insmall islands (e.g: Cyprus, Sri Lanka). Currently 99.9% of the people visiting Sri Lankaget into the country by air travel. SLTDA has set a target of reaching 2.5 Million tourists
by the year 2016. This is 8.6 times over the current capacity. On the other handenvironmental policies are getting stretched day by day resulting in more restriction onair travel. Therefore Sri Lankan target of 2.5 Million will become impossible as days goby. In such a situation, sea points have to be open up to meet such targets.With India in the top of the market for tourists in Sri Lanka, the possibility of opening seapoints- in the North and East will be one option for consideration. Therefore it isimportant that Tamil areas should take the full advantage of this new trendBalancing the Market Economy & Social/ Cultural FrameworkIt is very important to make a balance of market economy with the social and thecultural environment of the region. Market should not be allowed to dictate theinhabitants of the land. Tourism is the industry that offers service. In many countries theconcept of service is extended to child sex, prostitution, drugs and other inhumanactivities. Sri Lanka is not an exception. In Sri Lanka an estimated 36,000 children arebelieved to be victims of prostitution, according to a study by UNICEF in 1998. An NGO,PEACE operating in Sri Lanka, estimates that 10,000 children, especially boys, may beinvolved in child sex tourism. Sri Lanka has a number of laws on child protection andthe prevention of child abuse, including having ratified the United Nations Conventionon the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1991. In 2002, the Optional Protocol to the CRC onthe Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography was signed and the ILOConvention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour ratified. Economical reality and dayto day hardship had overtaken the implementation of it in the land. Therefore it isimportant that tourists and hospitality industry should grow under closer cooperation andnetwork with several organisations. Tourism industry dictated by market will distract thecommunity.The future economy of Sri Lanka is dependent on tourism for many resources unique toSri Lanka. Potentials still remain to be explored. Reconstructing Tourism industry wouldbe crucial to uplift the Sri Lankan economy. As the Sri Lanka government seeks foreigninvestment, foreign entrepreneurs should invest in major projects including touristindustry.
Sri Lanka has named 2011 as “Visit Sri Lanka Year” by doubling the number of foreigntourists to one million. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has given his personal utmost tothis project. Therefore it is vital that government takes into full advantage the potential oftourist industry in Sri Lanka, formulate and implement a comprehensive and coordinatedprogramme which will be resistant to all political stereotypes and enhance the life ofnatives.(Extacts from paper submitted by MrTarrin Constantine, Fellow Member of BritishAssociation 0f Hospitality Accountants & Member of Institute of Hospitality. Currentlyworking as the Group Financial Director of Desilu Group (owners & operators of Hotels& Properties) based in United Kingdom and Cyprus)