Sri Lanka tourist boom may need imported labour

Oct 05, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tourist industry is considering the possibility of importing labour, possibly from India, as a last resort to meet an anticipated shortage of workers given the sudden influx of visitors, an official said. “We will consider recruiting people from other countries, that will be our last option,” says Suranga Silva, the director general of the state-run tourism and hotel management institute, a hotel school.

The school estimates that there will still be a shortage of 24,000 direct trained staff by 2016 when arrivals are projected to increase to 2.5 million from the current 600,000 persons.

At present the leisure industry is estimated to employ 60,000 people directly and 90,000 indirect jobs.

Before independence from British rule, Sri Lanka was an importer with a free economy integrated with the rest of the world.

But the economy was progressively closed and unemployment increased to about 20 percent in the 1970s.

To read more go to Lanka Business Report