Sri Lanka tourist office in home stay push

Jan 25, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Tourist board wants to promote home stays giving the opportunity to a broader section of the community to participate in the sector and get jobs, an official said. Sri Lanka’s tourism promotion office is launching a ‘home stay and bungalows’ program as tourist arrivals rose 46 percent last year after the end of a 30-year war and industry infrastructure needs time to catch up.

“Sri Lanka Tourism is not only concentrating on increasing the influx of tourists to the island but also want the local community to be empowered through the industry,” Nalaka Godahewa, chairman, Sri Lanka Tourism said.

“That is why we are launching this home stay and bungalows program.”

At the moment the island has around 15,270 hotel rooms which is able to cater to around 650,000 700,000 tourists.

In 2010 tourist arrivals were 654,000 and authorities are expecting 750,000 arrivals in 2011.

“We can’t build five star hotels at once, it will take one or two years to do this,'” deputy minister of economic development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane said.

“By launching this program we can get instant accommodation as people with nice house in nice areas can provide t