Tourism development strategy finalised
The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Strategy for 2011-2016 has been
finalised by the Ministry of Economic Development and Sri Lanka Tourism
and will be presented to the Cabinet shortly, said Chairman, Sri Lanka
Tourism, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa.
He said that the tourism development strategy will be launched in the
second week of August by Economic Development Minister, Basil
Rajapaksa.“Tourism in Sri Lanka has been on a growth trajectory and the
industry is confident that the strategy will help achieve targets
envisaged in the tourism development plan”, Dr. Godahewa said.
Tourism in Sri Lanka has been booming since mid 2009 with the number
of arrivals surging rapidly on a month-on-month basis. The number of
arrivals during the first six months this year was 381,538, up 36.9
percent from a year earlier. Revenue from the industry during the first
six months was US$ 370.1 million, up 50 percent from a year earlier. Dr.
Godahewa said that Sri Lanka Tourism has been revisiting 22 categories
of regulations with an industry expert panel during the past six months
to modernise regulations to suit the needs of the tourism industry and
promote interests of the country.
“Around 50 percent of the work on the project has been completed and
it will be finalised within the next three months”, he said.
“Wildlife and environmental protection, regulations on whale watching
and hotel categorisation are vital as tourism is booming” Dr. Godahewa
said. Sri Lanka Tourism with government managed properties will
introduce an electronic ticketing system which is currently being
developed by Dialog as a CSR project.
Dr. Godahewa said that the new ticketing system will help tourists
check prices to various sites and plan their tours better.
Sri Lanka tourism has formed a committee comprising members of the
Sri Lanka Association of Hoteliers, Sri Lanka Association of Inbound
Tour Operators, SriLankan Airlines and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion
Bureau, to agree on a joint strategy for marketing communications.
“There has been diverse views on how marketing communication should
be carried out.
A consensus on the issue is vital”, Dr. Godahewa said. According to
tourism industry experts development in tourism has been slow due to
lack of strategic marketing and promotion of the destination.
”Except for media advertising there is no reduction in other forms of
marketing promotion such as trade fairs, conventions, seminars and
visiting journalist programs” Dr. Godahewe said.