Sri Lanka tourist drivers boost skills with training academy

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s tourist drivers have set up a training academy and are conducting regular programs to upgrade skills and customer service, the island’s tourism development office said.

National Tourist Drivers Association, and industry group with 5,500 members had conducted its 34th program endorsed by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.

“The main objective of this training programme is to enhance the capacity of tourist drivers to strengthen them with skills and management capabilities and give the existing workforce of tourist drivers training with necessary theoretical knowledge and practical exposure,” the SLTDA said.

“Besides, the informal sector tourist drivers will be brought to the mainstream of the tourism industry with the recognition of an Identity Card and a Certificate for their training.”

Tourism and trends in Sri Lanka, challenges, opportunities and impact of tourism to the country, customer relations, customer care & customer satisfaction, role & responsibilities of a tourist driver, essential first aid practices for a tourist driver are among areas taught.

A written examination based on lectures is conducted and candidates have to score a minimum of 45 percent to pass and quality for a tourist driver identity card. The SLTDA and the association is encouraging informal sector drivers to take part in the training.

In Sri Lanka however a tourism boom has taken place opening up remote tourism hotspots and destinations due to the widespread availability of three wheeler taxis.

Three wheeler taxis are imported paying taxes and most also use petrol, which is also taxed at higher rate than diesel, bringing revenues for the government to run public services. (Colombo/Oct09/2019)