The island’s 30-year ethnic conflict ended in May 2009 with the defeat of Tamil Tiger separatists resulting in an immediate revival in the number of visitors.
Hotels reported a full house in the last peak season which coincides with the northern hemisphere winter and many have started refurbishment and upgrades for the forthcoming season.
“Having overcome the challenges (of conflict), I see different challenges drifting our way,” Nanayakkara told the association’s annual general meeting.
“My biggest fear is the negative impact of a rapid expansion that can destroy our landscape, vegetation and the rich heritage of the country.
“How we would manage to protect the precious cultural values of all communities is a matter to be concerned of.”
The tourism industry also has a responsibility to ensure more people benefit from the revival in visitor numbers.“ . . . the biggest social responsibility that we could look at is to structure our industry in a manner where the revenue generated would have a cascading effect to flow down to all levels of the society,” Nanayakkara said.