- Requests Tourism Minister to look into it as an urgent matter
- Highlights potential implications of such incidents extending beyond reputational damage, deterring prospective tourists
- Insists on positive contributions of W15 properties to industry, citing their role in driving high-end tourism and boosting destination’s overall image
- Asserts importance of understanding nuances of tourism industry among all Govt. stakeholders, urges support in developing and safeguarding sector
The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL), has expressed serious concerns over issues raised by W15 Group Managing Director Hardy Jamaldeen, a distinguished member of the association; noting that such incidents have the potential to tarnish the country’s image and compromise visitor safety.
In a letter dated 7 February, addressing the Tourism Minister Harin Fernando, the association noted that the implications of such incidents extend beyond mere reputational damage, potentially tarnishing the image of the country and raising apprehensions among prospective tourists regarding their safety.
The letter was also copied to Tourism Ministry Secretary Buwanaka Herath, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Chairman Priantha Fernando and W15 Director M.H. Jamaldeen.
Following is the full text;
We draw your attention to the attached two letters, sent by the Managing Director of W15, a member of THASL.
If the content of the said letter is factually accurate, we wish to voice our serious concern on the same and appreciate it very much if you could look into this matter as a matter of urgency. Such incidents are bound to create a negative image of the country and will become a matter of great concern for potential visitors with regard to their safety.
Over the past years, W15 properties across the country have brought a positive image to the destination as a holiday destination. The group of boutique properties raised the bar in accommodation offerings and has been a catalyst in driving top-end tourism to the country. This indeed, as you are aware, is the vision of His Excellency for tourism. To attract high-paying tourists paying high prices is not an easy task. These companies have made investments in development, training and providing employment in addition to the large amounts of foreign currency spent on overseas marketing and promotions. The results of these will be negated with incidents such as what is mentioned in the attachment.
With the potential of Tourism to earn the much needed foreign exchange for the country and the vision of making Tourism the number one forex earner in the next few years, we appeal to you to make all Ministers, Members of Parliament and senior public service officials to understand the nuances of the tourism industry and request them to extend their support to develop tourism in Sri Lanka.