NEWS BRIEFS

Tourist protection at Sri Lanka hotspot, overdevelopment at top attractions, a boost for homestays

 

Protecting tourists at one of Sri Lanka’s most vibrant hot-spots is the aim of the new police unit at Ella, says the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA).

The Sunday Leader reports that tuk-tuk drivers and homestays will be urged to undertake an “awareness and training programme” to ensure that tourists are fairly treated.

Also on the agenda is a ‘tourist comfort center’ with adequate toilet facilities, plus the need to install a proper drainage and sewage-disposal system in the area.

 

Sri Lanka’s top hotelier has joined the tourism minister in asking whether overdevelopment at some of our most popular attractions is damaging the tourism industry.

Mirror Business reports that Hiran Cooray, boss of island-wide Jetwing Hotels, told a recent meeting that “the over-promotion of few destinations in Sri Lanka has led to the over visitation in tourist hotspots such as Yala, Sigiriya and Galle”.

The minister said that “we are seriously considering limiting the number of hotels coming up in cities, while encouraging them to spread out”.

 

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s ever-popular homestays have received a boost with the launch of a loan scheme to help them upgrade their properties to attract more tourists.

The Sunday Leader reports that “developing the homestay sector is a key priority identified in the three-year Tourism Strategic Plan (TSP) adopted by the Sri Lankan Government”.

The homestays receiving the loans will be required to register with the tourist authority before commencing commercial operations after upgrading.

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