Tourism bodies to address challenges to industry | Sunday Observer

Tourism bodies to address challenges to industry

Charith de Alwis
Charith de Alwis

Tourism industry bodies have planned a series of workshops to revive the badly affected industry which brings in the much needed foreign exchange that has now depleted badly due to the global pandemic which has brought the global travel industry to its knees.

Under the banner ‘One Industry One Voice’, the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) has partnered with Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the Travel Agents Association of Sri Lanka (TAASL) to launch initiatives to address the post Covid-19 challenges the tourism industry is facing. Experts from the airline industry, hotel trade and tour operators will host the inaugural workshop ‘Resilience in Post Covid Era’ at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, July14. The workshops aim to educate industry members on emerging trends, protocols and the needs of the industry.  The focus will be specially on tour operators and Destination Management Companies (DMCs) that are expected to be used by travellers as a result of the new regulations that are in place.

The contribution of tour operators and DMCS to tourism arrivals is 65 percent and it is expected to increase to 80 percent. According to statistics obtained by SLAITO, ‘DMCs accounted for 1,141,030 tourist arrivals of the total number of tourist arrivals of 2,333,796, and also brought in USD 2.1 billion foreign exchange earnings to the country compared to the industry’s total foreign exchange earnings of USD 4.3 billion.’ However, with the pandemic outbreak, the country’s booming industry came to a standstill.           

 “These are trying times for many businesses, and this is especially true for the tourism industry. The way we do business will change drastically now and we have to be ready,” SLAITO executive member and General Manager of Tangerine Tours, Charith de Alwis told Sunday Observer Business. 

“The primary aim of the project is to educate our members about the present situation and how to face this crisis and look for business opportunities, while surviving at the same time. By engaging in these workshops we can use our time productively before the country opens for tourism,” he said.