ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s tourism promotion agency said it is assessing supply with the UN backed program and is also looking at markets to develop a post-Coronavirus strategy.
The cabinet of minister had last week cleared a 5-year global promotional campaign.
“The approach focuses on consumer types and will allow for research supported global promotional campaign for Sri Lanka and a traveller-focused, evidence-based promotion strategy will be developed,” Sri Lanka Tourism Chairperson Kimarli Fernando said in a statement.
Sri Lanka Tourism with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) which will assess the impact and current status of the industry.
There are 11,071 registered entities and individuals in the industry. Additionally, thee were 2,669 accommodation facilities with 39,253 rooms.
There were 34 associations in the industry including regional ones. They were in accommodation, travel agency, tour guiding and driving.
“Tourism in Sri Lanka is an industry built on diversity and inclusivity, the input and collaboration of all tourism organisation is critical in the current situation, and would be of great benefit in planning the future,” Fernando said.
“I look to all associations to provide us with their formal proposals to help Sri Lanka Tourism to complete an inclusive long-term strategy.”
Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance industry grouping has already submitted a proposal.
Sri Lanka Tourism’s post-COVID-19 approach will be in two stages – Stage 1 (December Season 2020) and Stage 2 (Post-December 2020).
Stage 1 focuses on the immediate recovery of the industry, which involves changes to the visa process to include mandatory testing, adjustments to the immigration process, airport entry, hotel transfer and certification of hotels to ensure health and safety of tourists, employees and the local community.
Designated quarantine hotels need to be established with staff safety being paramount.
With advice from the Ministry of Health, a detailed guideline will be released, and establishments will be audited to ensure compliance.
The agency also advocated price floor in the midst of the crisis to gauge more money from any tourist that came.
“..[I]t is recommended that a minimum pricing structure be established for accommodation, avoiding undercutting and the resulting race to the bottom, ” tourism office said.
Countries like Vietnam had raced ahead of Sri Lanka and won the goodwill of all persons, especially young people who grow up to head companies and who later invest in the country by their lack of price controls and nationalism observers say.
Compared to East Asia Sri Lanka’s economic literacy is weak, including in monetary policy, trade and property rights, which is a key reason for Sri Lanka lagging behind, critics say. (Colombo/Apr23/2020)