When deliberate and applied strategically, the tourism sector can match as much as its potential of being a driver of social, financial, and environmental welfare – Pic by Shehan Gunasekara
Overview of tourism
Tourism is without doubt one of the quickest rising industries all through the world. It is a vital financial drive for Sri Lanka. Tourism is a fundamental dependable supply of incomes overseas alternate in Sri Lanka. It may possibly assist in correcting the commerce imbalance. Tourism in Sri Lanka, contains all enterprise actions which offer services to vacationers. It contains inns, journey company trekking company, and so forth. Based on the character of industries, they’re categorized into manufacturing industries and repair industries. Tourism is without doubt one of the service industries, which is quickly rising everywhere in the world.
So, the tourism trade creates one employment out of 10 worldwide. It generated 330 million jobs instantly and 10.3% of world GDP in 2019 (WTTC, 2020). This contains employment by inns, airways and different passenger transportation companies. As a outstanding rising sector within the Sri Lankan economic system, journey, tourism and hospitality have all the time confronted challenges as a comparatively new and dynamic sector. Nevertheless, in 2019 the tourism trade contributed 4.3% to native GDP (SLTDA, 2020).
Rising in interesting reputation, by 2019 it escalated favourably to safe the place of being the third largest overseas alternate earner with whole earnings of $ 4.4 billion in 2018 and $ 3.7 billion in 2019 (SLTDA, 2020). Furthermore, the Sri Lankan Authorities had focused six million vacationer arrivals by 2025 which might yield earnings of $ 10 billion (Samarathunga, 2020). Of the whole 402,607 individuals employed within the tourism sector, 173,592 are instantly working and 229,015 are concerned not directly (SLTDA, 2020).
Sri Lanka is called the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. In 2018, Sri Lanka was named the very best nation on the planet to go to in 2019, by Lonely Planet. Higher transport hyperlinks, new inns and a rising variety of actions had been cited as the rationale for the South-Asian island being chosen for the highest spot within the guidebook writer’s annual Finest in Journey Awards. It’s plain that Sri Lanka’s tourism trade has been affected immediately by the lethal Easter Sunday bombing in 2019 and the affect of the coronavirus from March 2020. On the identical time, different associated sectors have been affected by the affect on tourism.
Affect of COVID-19
It’s important that we first perceive the problems related to this, by way of what steps could be taken to enhance Sri Lanka’s tourism trade. Nevertheless, there are various challenges in reaching that within the present state of affairs. Based on the United Nations World Tourism Group (UNWTO), this has affected tourism not solely in Sri Lanka however in lots of nations world wide. Tons of of individuals have misplaced their jobs as a result of affect of COVID-19. Particularly, a research on the sectoral affect of COVID-19 on workers in Sri Lanka by the Nationwide Human Useful resource Improvement Council of Sri Lanka in 2020 discovered that many individuals had misplaced their jobs within the tourism trade.
The outcomes of the survey indicated that every one the sectors have been affected by the sudden pandemic. In the course of the pandemic state of affairs 36% of low expert workers and 36% of semi-skilled workers misplaced their jobs. About 28% of center and junior stage administration additionally will lose their jobs within the tourism trade. Centered on the findings of the survey, the bulk (71%) of the consultants and hoteliers of the tourism and hospitality sector have said that the tourism sector would lose 41%-60% of workers on account of this example. Subsequently, 58% of consultants emphasised the necessity for re-skilling packages for workers who’ve misplaced their jobs within the tourism trade (NHRDC, 2020).
Power of tourism trade in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is without doubt one of the most lovely and protected islands in Asia. As a result of this the variety of vacationers visiting Sri Lanka has been rising yearly. Based on the information of the Sri Lanka Tourism Improvement Authority, we are able to see vital development in employment as effectively. Nevertheless 89,357 vacationers got here from January to March in 2020.
The US and European nations are nonetheless struggling to regulate the unfold of the coronavirus due to the recession in tourism. Nevertheless, Sri Lanka appears to be controlling it very effectively. Indigenous medical practices and conventional consuming habits of Sri Lanka are the elements that sustained it.
As an integral a part of Sri Lanka’s Nationwide Export Technique, the idea of Wellness Tourism focuses on offering worldwide travellers with companies specializing in psychological and bodily wellbeing. Providers together with Ayurveda resorts, spas, and yoga retreats kind the core of the trade. Beneficial world developments have made wellbeing a tourism buzzword, with travellers more and more looking for inns with well being companies and services. Though Wellness Tourism stays a brand new idea, and a nascent trade, Sri Lankan traditions of ayurveda and conventional drugs present the sector with a novel benefit, and the potential for immense development.
We are able to point out the next points that may be improved within the tourism trade in Sri Lanka. The sphere situations required for Sri Lanka’s tourism trade are beneficial. For instance, individuals’s data of English could have a significant affect on the arrival of vacationers and the companies they obtain. One of many causes for that is that Sri Lanka has the very best literacy fee in South Asia. And likewise, the hospitality and smiles of the Sri Lankan individuals have attracted quite a lot of vacationers.
The continuing growth of the expressway community, with the opening of the Katunayake Expressway connecting the Bandaranaike Worldwide Airport to Colombo, and the development of an expressway to the hill-capital of Kandy, promise to significantly cut back journey instances for vacationers. The opening of Sri Lanka’s second worldwide airport within the Southern Province, Hambantota District, and the proposed redevelopment of a number of home airports gives flexibility and comfort to vacationers.
Alongside the nationwide service Sri Lankan Airways, home airways present seaplane connections from Colombo to a number of locations inside the nation. Nevertheless most vacationers nonetheless use conventional methods to journey to Nuwara Eliya, Hagala, or Badulla. It takes greater than 5 to 6 hours. If we develop extra seaplane companies for these districts it might be extra engaging not solely to overseas vacationers but in addition locals too.
Moreover, as of 1 August 2019, the Sri Lankan Authorities has waived visa charges for worldwide vacationers from 48 nations. Consequently, travellers making use of for 30-day vacationer visas are now not required to pay for his or her visas. Thus, as an more and more standard, internationally acclaimed vacationer vacation spot, Sri Lanka gives thrilling and profitable alternatives for traders.
Suggestions to the tourism trade
- Particular consideration to be given to draw high-spend vacationers than low-spend vacationers.
- Undertaking and promote the picture of Secure Sri Lanka via media protection, promotional actions, and worldwide advertising and marketing.
- Throughout this pandemic state of affairs Sri Lankans have a tendency to draw extra in direction of indigenous medicinal therapies and ayurvedic medicines like turmeric, perumkayam, ginger, garlic, veniwel geta, and so forth. Additionally, foreigners caught in Sri Lanka used these medicines and had been pleased with the makes use of. Sri Lanka being a number one nation which fights COVID-19, many nations are eager to make use of its remedy strategies. By taking this chance as a bonus, Sri Lanka can develop such ayurvedic medicinal packages and import to overseas nations.
- Sri Lanka should contemplate eco-tourism.
- Promote Sri Lanka as a transit hub within the area by contemplating the teachings learnt from Dubai and Singapore.
- Utilise youth within the labour market and re-skilling packages might be performed for vacationer guides and SMEs who’re participating within the trade.
So, rebuilding the tourism sector and offering vacationers with rewarding experiences have to be achieved by exploring alternate options to mass tourism, reminiscent of sustainable rural tourism, nature tourism, and theme-based circuit tourism. When deliberate and applied strategically, the tourism sector can match as much as its potential of being a driver of social, financial, and environmental welfare.
- Samarathunga, W. (2020, April 21). Publish-COVID-19 challenges and the best way ahead for Sri Lanka tourism. (D. FT, Editor) Retrieved from Day by day FT: http://www.ft.lk/columns/Publish-COVID-19-challenges-and-the-way-forward-for-Sri-Lanka-tourism/4-699020
- SLTDA. (2020). Annual Statistical Report 2019. Colombo: Sri Lanka Tourism Improvement Authority.
- UNWTO. (2020, 05 07). Worldwide Vacationer Numbers May Fall 60-80% in 2020, UNWTO Reviews. Retrieved from World Tourism Group: https://www.unwto.org/information/covid-19-international-tourist-numbers-could-fall-60-80-in-2020
S. Thanigaseelan is Assistant Director, Nationwide Human Useful resource Improvement Council of Sri Lanka underneath the Ministry of Public Administration and D. Senthilnathan is a Analysis Officer additionally at Nationwide Human Useful resource Improvement Council