The Tourist board is drawing up standards for emerging niche areas like Ayurveda, eco-tourism and spas, to certify and rank tourist hotels and resorts.
Modelled on similar experiences in places like Costa Rica, where resorts are ranked on their eco-friendliness, Sri Lanka is trying to raise the profile of its tourism products.rn
rnThe Tourist Board is being re-hauled into a regulatory body responsible for maintaining the standards, with its marketing functions taken over by a new subsidiary company.rn
rnMany of these niche areas are often not regulated by specific industry standards, with no check on the services in mushrooming tourist resorts.rn
rnA sizeable problem as Sri Lanka tries to package and sell many of its niche tourism products to Free and Independent (FIT) travellers, who sped an average US$ 100 a day.rn
rnA traveller to the country, on average spends about US$ 60 a day, with earnings stagnant at about US$ 200 million a year for the past decade.rn
rnAdding to the problem were pri