- Chairman Athukorala
On the backdrop of 2014 registering 15.1mn guest nights with tourism receipts recording $2.2 billion, the informal sector is coming out at a staggering 7.3mn guest nights said the Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Rohantha Athukorala which is almost touching the fifty percent mark as per the analysis done by the country’s top analysis JB Securities. This will further grow, given the explosion of the on line booking companies and more travellers wanting to book online he said addressing the Annual General meeting of the Guides Association of Sri Lanka where he was the Chief Guest at the event.
Chief Guest at the Annual General Meeting of the Guides Association of a Sri Lanka
With this strong growth seen in the informal sector, free independent Travelers segment will constitute a large segment of tourism that will need professional guides at special products on the Sri Lankan tourism mix voiced Athukorala. Be it the 350-500 pod of whales seen off the seas of Kalpitiya by whale watching experts like Andrew Statton in March 2015 or the architectural master piece of urban planning seen thousands of years ago by way of the Sigiriya Fortress needs a private sector model that can attract a minimum of a billion dollars given that many other global attractions fetch ten to fifteen billion dollars. We must integrate the tourist arrivals to the overall economic impact if we are to do justice to the growing numbers in the tourism industry he said.
Overall tourism numbers are registering a 14.5% growth in the first five months of 2015, with overall tourism receipts crossing the $1billion dollars as per the Central Bank whilst BOI confirmed that Leisure approvals as at end May was Rs 4.1 billion rupees. The JB securities insights of the informal sector at almost fifty percent explains the consumption patterns of tourists that the Formal sector will have to address said a Athukorala. When Sri Lanka gets in place in two months with a global communication partner then we must focus on quality tourism than just numbers he said.