New legislation, regulation for tourismView(s):
The government is gearing up to introduce new legislation and regulation to ensure the industry operates in line with today’s traveller requirements.Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Director General Malraj Kiriella said at the Sunday Times Business Club meeting held at The Kingsbury on Tuesday that they would be strengthening legislation and regulations in relation to providing new guielines to prevent any negative impacts on the tourism industry.
In addition, the industry would strongly adhere to classification, licensing and impartial ratings, he pointed out. Another area to be looked at would be the introduction of strict zones, and the development of mega tourism zones. Moreover, harassment of tourists by touts and other vendors in addition to any other issues would be addressed strictly through the Sri Lanka Tourist Police that would be made increasingly active, Mr. Kiriella said.
In addition he pointed out that there would be strong regulation on the enforcement of the maximum height of a hotel along the coast at 16 metres alongside the maximum room capacity that could be covered by any single hotel especially in the resorts.Spas and health tourism at present an unregulated sector of the industry would have new legislation and regulations enforced, Mr. Kiriella explained.
John Keells Hotels Brands Vice President Dileep Mudadeniya highlighted the need to create an experience for today’s traveler adding that in this context the brick and mortar does not necessarily command the premium. He pointed out that the industry, particularly the private sector, needs to be more creative to attract the right visitors to the country. Serendib Hotels Director Murtaza Jafferjee pointed out that regulating the informal sector could only help that much since competition happens on different platforms.
The competition has become acute since most travelers book and check online before travelling to a destination and in this respect the small shops too can compete today by advertising on the Internet, he explained.Mr. Jafferjee highlighted that “Those in the formal sector should not be the ones setting the rules for the informal sector.”