“Tourism industry will bounce back” | Sunday Observer

“Tourism industry will bounce back”

4 October, 2020

Expressing optimism on Sri Lanka’s resilience and ability to re-emerge fast from crises, the NSBM Green University’s expert panel said at a recent forum, that it was confident the country would bounce back from the current scenario to rebuild a vibrant tourism industry.

At the session on ‘Tourism and Times of Uncertainty’, the panel which comprised academics and professionals called on the industry to stand by the country at this time of crisis until the dawn of better times. Chief Operating Officer, Nkar Travels and Tours, Dr. Damian Fernando centred his views on the necessity of all affected by this health crisis to embrace a greater flexibility when it comes to the acceptance of job offers.

At this stage the hospitality sector is the industry that is affected the most.

Hotels, guesthouses, guides, transportation have come to a standstill with no immediate signs of a reopening scenario.

He said Sri Lanka has shown strong resilience in the past in the face of the Easter attacks, the tsunami in 2004 and added that the mentality of Sri Lankans remained steadfast to come back on track even after the worst calamities.

Professor in Tourism Management of the Sabaragamuwa University, M.S.M Aslam outlined the importance of staying together in times of crisis and to find methods to built a stronger hospitality industry by enhancing training methods for all sectors in the industry.

The tourism authorities and the private sector should undertake more effective education and vocational training programs to reach these targets.

Head of AGSEP Research, Dr. Dietmar Doering highlighted the global aspects of Covid-19 and that Sri Lankan Universities in particular should center their recommendations to the Government based on facts and figures.

“Sri Lanka had been so far outstanding in tackling the Corona crisis with a mere 0.6% mortality rate which is remarkably low compared to other nations,” he said, while elaborating on the inter connectivity of the WHO and private funding agents in the US, after the US Government had withdrawn from the WHO funding program.

The very same companies which in the forefront of funding the WHO are developing vaccines to treat the Coronavirus.

Dr. Doering said that according to Virologists and Epidemiologists the usual timeline for the development of a vaccine is between eight to 12 years to minimise side effects.

“The development of a Covid-19 vaccine, if it surfaces in the near future, would certainly be risky for patients since the mandatory research periods are drastically reduced,” Dr. Doering said.