Comments /622 Views / Monday, 8 May 2017 00:06
By Asnah Anver
The National Tourist Guide Lecturers held a protest outside the BMICH demanding that authorities stop the use of tour guides who are unlicensed, under-qualified and foreign nationals working without proper visa, by registered tourism companies or destination management companies, violating the current regulations.
Speaking to the Daily FT, a representative of the National Tourist Guide Lecturers, Sumedha Chandradasa stated that in regard to the profession, “There are a lot of unqualified, under-qualified and illegal foreign nationals who are working as tour guides in Sri Lanka.”
“Under the 1987 gazette notification of Sri Lanka Tourism, a travel agent who is registered under the Tourism Development Authority must use a national tourist guide lecturer for a group of six or more passengers if they are doing a tour. At the moment some of the registered travel companies or the destination management companies are not contacting a licensed national tourist guide lecturer because they have to pay us a salary, they have to provide us with hotel rooms and facilities.” Chandaradasa stated that in the competitive market the tourism companies, to get ahead of the other, “are cutting down the cost of using a national tourist guide lecturer and using under-qualified and unauthorised guides for a lesser price.” He added, “We should go for quality; that is our idea.” Although on numerous occasions the National Tourist Guide Lecturers have addressed the authorities, namely the Ministry of Tourism and the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, on this matter Chandradasa states that “nothing has happened so far.” “Our request from the authorities is to first of all stop the under-qualified and the unlicensed guides from being used in tour groups by the registered tourism companies or the destination management companies registered under the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.”
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