Sri Lanka tourism ‘will benefit from more regulation’ says top hotel boss

Prema Cooray: ‘Social media plays a critical role in promoting the informal sector’

Sri Lanka tourism is never far from the headlines as more and more global visitors discover for themselves the delights of our Paradise island.

But Sri Lanka’s rapidly growing popularity as a ‘must-visit’ tropical destination is not without its problems, according to the boss of the Citrus Hotels group.

EconomyNext reports that Prema Cooray, chairman of Citrus Waskaduwa Hotel, is urging the government to nurture tourism by regulating the growing ‘informal sector’.

He told shareholders that this sector “has grown exponentially, and is today a major factor in driving arrivals and growth” and that unregulated informal units are now almost equal to the formal sector.

He added: “Social media plays a critical role in promoting the informal sector and they should be partners in this exercise in order to regulate and effectively mitigate this challenge.”

Many tuk-tuk drivers ‘not mature enough’

More good news for visitors and locals alike is the growing call to control the swarms of ‘tuk-tuk’ three-wheeler taxis that throng Sri Lanka’s towns and cities.

EconomyNext reports that “many established three wheeler drivers say no-one below the age of 35 years should be allowed to carry passengers because they are not mature enough to serve passenger properly”.

Says Cooray: “In order to maintain the sustainability of tourism in the long-term, it is crucial that measures are taken to monitor supply and adopt control mechanisms to ensure that global standards of service are met, thus improving the nation’s competitiveness in the international arena.”

Read more here.

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