Business

Tourism hopes to earn $ 7 b and create 600,000 jobs in 2020

Sri Lanka Tourism has revealed that its main targets for the next two years are to achieve Rs. 7 billion in foreign exchange earnings per year, provide direct and permanent employment to 600,000 individuals out of whom at least 10% would be women, and to increase the per capita spend per tourist from the present $ 164 to $ 210 per visitor.

A newly constituted Tourism Advisory Committee has been appointed by Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga to help achieve these targets, as well as the targeted 3 million tourist arrivals this year.

The new Advisory Committee met for the first time at the Tourism Ministry recently under the auspices of Minister John Amaratunga. The Chairman of the four tourism bureax and department heads presented their respective performance reports and forward plans to the Advisory Committee.

The 14 member committee comprises the cream of private sector tourism stakeholders and is headed by business magnate Harry Jayawardena. The other members of the Tourism Advisory Committee are: Dammika Perera (Hayleys), Merril Fernando (Dilmah), Abbas Esufally (Hemas), Sanjiv Gardiner (Galle Face Hotel Group), Krishan Balendra (John Keells), Shiromal Cooray (Jetwing), Kuok Meng Xiong (Shangri-la), Ashok Pathirage (Softlogic), C. J. Wickremasinghe (Connaissance), Raman Murthy (Taj Hotels), Nalin Jayasundera (Aitken Spence Travels), Vipula Gunatilleka and N. Ranasinghe. The Committee Coordinator is Dinesh Weerakkody while the Convenor is Felix Rodrigo.

In order to prepare for the anticipated larger numbers Sri Lanka Tourism is to invest in new
infrastructure development, expedite resort land alienation, informal sector integration and
strengthen Tourist Police and lifesaving presence in all key resort areas. Sri Lanka Tourism
will also facilitate loans for development of home stay units, construction of additional rooms
in identified locations and also expedite new resort development.

Caption:

L-R: Monitoring MP for Tourism, Harshana Rajakaruna, Ministry Secretary S. Hettiarachchi, Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga, Advisory Committee Chairman Harry Jayawardena and Senior Advisor to the Minister Felix Rodrigo