Good Life X’s digital evolver: Creating solutions for a digital future in tourism

Good Life X was invented to foster entrepreneurship through collaborating, providing expertise, and sharing knowledge. It shares a mission to create a better future for humans and the whole planet together with the power of impact-driven start-ups and SMEs.

‍At Good Life X, they believe in the importance of each individual and in every collaborative mind to contribute its personal strength and uniqueness for a shared future of connections, sustainability, and awareness.

They recently announced the selected participants of their new “Digital Evolver” programme. 

The top 10 include destination management companies, tour operators, site operators, and accommodation providers who care about the environment, their communities, and their employees and are dedicated to creating a sustainable model of business that takes all the players into consideration. Good Life X aims to share their stories and how they, along with the expertise of our business development, sustainable tourism, and digital technology specialists, find the opportunities in the challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sharing more details on the programme and why it was initiated, Good Life X CEO and Founder Randhula de Silva stated: “It was initiated specifically because of the tourism sector that has been suffering for a very long time in Sri Lanka with the Covid pandemic and before that, the easter attacks. Currently, there is no traffic coming in other than internal travellers.”

She added that because the tourism sector is obviously hard-hit, they wanted to create a solution where without looking at how to make ends meet, and instead look at how these companies make themselves future-proof to embrace travellers who are going to come in once the pandemic settles down.

The programme is called “Digital Evolver” because they figured the best way to do it was to help the tourism sector digitally equip themselves and become a lot more open to digital solutions and optimiser operations, so they learn how to work through digital technology.

Randhula explained that having worked with the tourism sector, they realised that this specific sector needed a lot of support in terms of being digitally savvy, how they work, and what services they offer. Taking all these factors into consideration, they launched their Digital Evolver programme.

Upon asking them how they selected the top 10 participants, Randhula explained: “For GLX, in whatever we do, we look at two things: Are these companies doing their work with sustainability as their core, and are they innovative and trying to solve a problem in a different way. The companies we’ve selected have survived through the pandemic and have been very innovative and resilient. That really shows how much they have in them to innovate and sustain.”

Giving us more insight into this, Good Life X Programme Lead Shenali de Silva shared that they do have an extensive criteria when it comes to selecting the businesses for their programmes, but for this programme, it was very open and limitless in the sense that they didn’t look at the size or type of the company.

“In terms of our selection process, it was a two prompt approach. Firstly, companies had to answer a questionnaire online, after which the shortlisted companies proceeded onto an interview with industry experts where we went deep into how they are sustainable and what their sustainable approaches and practises are,” she added.

Talking about ways in which these companies can help benefit the tourism industry, Randhula commented that they have a good mix of companies for the programme that are open to creating a more sustainable solution and attracting the right kind of tourists and also offering something unique that Sri Lanka really needs to go into. “Things like bike rides and kayaking are what would appeal to the experiential tourist, but these will all be done sustainably. It’s not an everyday tour, and it will involve more communities, create more jobs, and leave no trace behind,” she added.

Shenali also explained that as these are smaller companies, by ingraining these good practises into them, it will become a more widespread practice in the tourism industry as a whole. “We want to make it a trend. We want to push the whole majority of the tourism sector to embrace this mindset, which is the start of our programme, and digitally evolved companies are going to be in the forefront.”

They have many tourism experts on board for this project as well as from the digital and technological spheres in Sri Lanka working with them to make this programme a success. With this programme, they hope to grab the global travellers’ attention and bring Sri Lanka’s tourism up a notch.