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Thu, 18 September 2014 02:33:52
Sri Lanka travel trade warns tourism boom has risks
29 Jun, 2010 12:48:34
June 29, 2010 (LBO) – A sudden influx of tourists in to Sri Lanka after the end of its ethnic war could bring risks such as threats to the island’s environment and cultural values, a senior travel trade official has warned.
The trade should also ensure that income from tourism benefits more people, Nilmin Nanayakkara, president of the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators said.

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.
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READER COMMENT(S)
1. cj Jun 29
Some of the tourism income needs to be shared with the Archeological authorities to help preserve and maintain all valuable sites, identify and prevent removal of artifacts, cataloge and place correct descriptive details etc.

Similarly other attractions to tourists eg. maintaining Beaches, scenic land scapes,etc. (it is a pity that some election plastering is still seen at many waterfalls with no one keen to facelift these beautiful sites) Objectivity is also required to prevent rural folk being turned to beggars for tourists goodies etc.