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Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has reinforced ‘World Tourism Day 2015’ by announcing a partnership with Colombo University’s economic faculty and key private-sector organisations.

The latter include Sri Lanka Inbound Tour Operators (SLITO), The Hotel Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) and the Association Of Small And Medium Enterprises In Tourism (ASMET).

Colombo University conducts the masters and postgraduate programs for tourism and hotel management under the leadership of tourism minister John Amaratunga.

According to the SLTDA official website, the minister “has stressed the need to identify the key issues the industry is facing and request the best brains in the country to recommend the strategies and best practices we must implement to make this industry be more competitive globally”.

It also reports the chairman of the Sri Lanka Promotions Bureau, Dr Rohantha Athukorala, as saying that ‘the tourism business is the most competitive and dynamic industry one can work in as it is to do with people’s leisure and their behavior”.

He adds: “Hence, this keeps changing daily where people are seeking new experiences in their life. This in turn demands the industry to change accordingly.

“If we do not, we will loose our competitiveness. Which is where the Colombo University will help us bridge this gap. This makes the celebration of Worlds Tourism Day very purposeful.”

Sri Lanka Tourism notes key issues that Sri Lanka tourism needs to address, including strategies for better management of traffic in wildlife parks, building a destination brand in the digital age, and the importance of hygiene and sanitation when a country attracts top-end visitors.

It also asks whether casinos are the best way to attract the top-dollar tourists; should Sri Lanka focus on golf tourism; will halal tourism work in Sri Lanka; and how many tourists can Sri Lanka comfortably handle.

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