Sri Lanka hospitality school hopes to fill skills void

June 27, 2012 (LBO) – A leisure industry school linked to a UK-based professional body said it is stepping to fill a growing need for leisure sector executives as the island sees a tourism boom after the end of a three decades long war.

Sri Lanka’s tourism sector is booming after the end of a three decades war in 2009. The Indian Ocean island is targeting 950,000 tourists in 2012, up from a record 855,000 in 2012. Up to May 2012 arrivals were up over 60,000 to 387,000.

But during its war Sri Lanka has lost experienced staff to the Middle East and Europe. For training institutes it is an opportunity to fill a market need.

Sri Lanka needs around 26,350 hotel rooms and 354,000 hotel staff by 2016 to meet a national target of wooing 2.5 million tourists.

The IIHL is also looking to attract students from the Maldives, a top competitor in the region.

“We are looking into Male because our accreditation is for Sri Lanka and Maldives both,” Abeywardane said.

IIHL said it had invested 25 million rupees on a state of the art kitchen and other facilities and also will also conduct craft courses in culinary art, food and beverage, housekeeping and front office operations.

“Everybody is complaining that they don’t h