Small-time businesses look forward to better times | Sunday Observer
Tourist traffic on the Colombo-Kandy Road

Small-time businesses look forward to better times

2 October, 2022

At a time the tourism sector is gradually improving especially with the arrival of a large number of foreign tourists, the cashew sellers at Kadjugama in Pasyala, the drum manufacturers in Radawadunna, the cane product manufacturers in Wewaldeniya and quality clay pot manufacturers at Warakapola on Kandy Road recently requested Tourism Minister Harin Fernando to direct foreign tour operators plying on the Kandy Road to stop a few minutes at these four places to enable travellers to purchase cashew and other Sri Lankan traditional products.

According to the latest Sri Lanka Tourism statistics 496,430 foreign tourists had arrived in the country during the first eight months of this year with 37,760 tourists in August.

Cashew Sellers Association, President Kalugama Aratchchige Surasinghe said before the Covid-19 pandemic almost all foreign tour operators transporting tourists stop their vehicles for a few minutes at these business locations to enable tourists to purchase whatever they liked and it helped traders to earn a sufficient income for their living.

He said, however, during the past two years there was no progress in their business due to the non-arrival of foreign tourists and it “badly affected us and our dependents.”

Surasinghe said when the country’s tourism industry is showing progress, the Tourism Ministry too should help to revamp their lost business opportunities as tour operators transport tourists from Colombo to Kandy, Kurunegala, Sigiriya, Dambulla and Kandalama along the Kandy Road nearly every day.

“Our business societies are not asking the Tourism Ministry for any financial assistance but only to direct tour operators to stop their vehicles for a while at these four business places,” he said.