Sri Lanka tourism offers chance for quick post-war jobs: report

Nov 17, 2009 (LBO) – Post-war Sri Lanka has an opportunity to generate employment quickly by developing tourism to ensure employment for youth especially in conflict-affected areas, a new report said. The study by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) said it was important to initiate efforts that would have a “tangible impact’ on target communities in conflict affected areas in the short run while contributing to long-term tourism development.

Building new hotels is a more long-term venture whose benefits in terms of employment and income generation would take several years to be felt by the affected communities, it said.

The study was part of a USAID effort through its CORE (Connecting Regional Economies) project to examine six industry sectors to identify growth opportunities in the east for the private sector.

The other sectors were dairy, horticulture, fisheries, aquaculture and logistics.

Sarasali Fonseka, private sector/policy advisor at USAID, said the usual post-conflict trend is for domestic and adventure tourism to take off first.

“The government should fast track domestic and adventure tourism,” she told a seminar by the agency to disseminate the st