July 15, 2019 (LBO) – The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in cooperation with the Tourism Ministry, successfully completed a joint seminar for the “Recovery of Tourism Sector in Sri Lanka after the Easter Bombings 2019” targeting officials and professionals in the tourism sector.
The presenter Masato Takamatsu, the Managing Director & Chief Research Officer and Head of Tourism Crisis Management Consulting at Japan Travel Bureau, Tourism Research & Consulting, in his keynote presentation shared experiences of Japan and learnings of other countries how a crisis can be utilized as an opportunity to “Build-Back-Better” tourism sector in Sri Lanka.
Potential strategies in bringing back foreign tourists for instance well-timed destination marketing identifying prime source markets more likely to be recovered in the short run and needs immediate engagements besides source markets more likely to take more time to recover and needs cautious approach was comprehensively deliberated based on market tendencies.
Participants ranging from government officials to business personnel had an interactive discussion on how each organization can play their role to recover the Sri Lankan Tourism Industry.
Particularly, Takamatsu and audience share the view that the challenges Sri Lanka is facing now can be used an opportunity to “Build-Back-Better” the tourism industry to show the world all the attractions and people’s hospitability Sri Lanka can offer.
Top representatives from the Ministry, Tourism Promotion Bureau, Tourism Development Authority, Institute of Hotel School Management, Sri Lanka Inbound Tour Operators, The Sri Lanka Hotel Association attended the seminar chaired by the Ministry Secretary S. Hettiarachchi.
Tourism sector in Sri Lanka, which occupies 4.6 percent of the country’s GDP ($3.55bn worth) has suffered significant damage from the Easter Bombings on 21 April in form of increased level of travel advisory of other countries, decreased inbound tourists, reduction of number of flights, decline of hotel occupancy rates and so on.
The number of inbound tourists has been gradually picking up since then because of the various efforts put into by Sri Lanka.