The Major Inbound Tour Operator- Medium Category – Nkar Travels and Tours, Colombo
NKAR Travels & Tours Ltd., one of the leading tour operators in inbound and outbound divisions won the award for“Major Inbound Tour Operator (Medium Category)” at the National Tourism Awards 2018 conducted by The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority recently.
NKAR Travels & Tours Ltd.Managing Director NilminNanayakkara said they are honoured to have been bestowed with this recognition.
NKAR Travels & Tours Managing Director Nilmin Nanayakkara
“We will use this achievement to attract good quality human resources, to attract new tour operators, to create benchmarks in the right direction, to advocate and inform our friendly competitors and industry colleagues that this is the way forward and to drive the message of sustainability.”
Explaining the key criteria considered for the award, Nanayakkaranoted, “Our company was in the Rs. 3,000 million – Rs. 3 billion turnover category.They looked into the company’s strategies in terms of market development and product development.A big weight was placed on the ethical framework. That is the manner in which the company operates.”
NKAR’s key source markets at present are UK, Germany, Netherlands, Scandinavia, India, Pakistan, Middle-East, Canada, USA, Japan.NKAR is currently looking at the possibility of entering into new Asian markets such as Vietnam, Philippines, and Indonesia.
Speaking on the current status of Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, Nanayakkara said it’s in a bad condition. “There’s nothing being done to promote the country as a travel and tourism destination internationally at the moment. As a result, the informal sector has grown out of proportions, while the formal sector has almost collapsed.
“We need to have a good 10-year plan for Sri Lanka tourism. We should market the high-end to the medium level segments. Bring in proper rules and regulations for licensing, taxation through the relevant authorities. This should take place across the industry; from home stays to villas to apartments to everything.
“Tourism in Sri Lanka was well planned only during Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s time. Tourist hot spots such as Bentota, Beruwala, Polonnaruwa emerged, the Hotel School was established and licensing systems were introduced during that era. Since then nothing substantial took place, and we have been just running flat on the same thing. As a country, we are very backward in managing our investors, infrastructure and licensing,” he stressed.
NKAR has also won many other international awards.“We have had not previously applied for any Tourism awards. Now that we have got the taste of it, we will apply for some of the top tourism awards in the future.
“We have won a large number of airline awards from airlines including SriLankan, Emirates, Gulf Air, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, etc. In addition, our tour leaders have won many Best Tour Leader awards and received top recognition from different international tour operators.”